Paul Scholes has explained why he is ‘very encouraged’ by England’s performance against Slovenia on Tuesday night. 

In a take that might raise a few eyebrows, the former England and Manchester United star believes the Three Lions are heading in the right direction. 

England have been roundly criticised for their drab performance as they laboured to a 0-0 draw with Slovenia, hardly threatening to score. 

Gary Neville slammed England for being ‘basic’ while the European media were unstinting in their critique, doling out harsh player ratings. Yet Scholes liked what he saw. 

‘Might surprise a few… very encouraged by that performance,’ he wrote in an Instagram story post. 

Paul Scholes was 'very encouraged' by England's performance against Slovenia

Paul Scholes was 'very encouraged' by England's performance against Slovenia

Paul Scholes was ‘very encouraged’ by England’s performance against Slovenia 

The former Manchester United and England star felt 'the right players were on the pitch'

The former Manchester United and England star felt 'the right players were on the pitch'

The former Manchester United and England star felt ‘the right players were on the pitch’ 

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‘At some point during that game the right players were on the pitch at the same time. 

‘Think this team is ready to click.’ 

While Scholes doesn’t specify who the ‘right players’ are, England’s performance did improve drastically with the gradual introductions of players such as Kobbie Mainoo, Cole Palmer, and Anthony Gordon.

Mainoo replace Conor Gallagher at half-time and injected energy and impetus into the midfield, bringing composure and a good range of passing. 

Palmer finally got his Euros debut and had Slovenia on the back foot as he took players on over on the left flank, before switching to the right when Gordon was introduced.

He too made the most of his few minutes on the pitch, supplying a brilliant pass to Harry Kane, who teed up Palmer for a late chance. 

Scholes is not the only former England international to draw positives from the performance – Gary Lineker did as well

He said: ‘I think there were signs in that performance that I quite liked. In the second half, I thought you could see that if this team continue to play a high press, chances will come. 

Cole Palmer showed lots of promise when he came on

Cole Palmer showed lots of promise when he came on

As did Anthony Gordon on the left flank

As did Anthony Gordon on the left flank

Gareth Southgate’s substitutes showed promise, with Cole Palmer (left) and Anthony Gordon (right) making an impact on the wings

‘I saw enough to suggest that England are improving slightly. I think there were downsides, but I think there were real positives. 

‘I thought when Cole Palmer came on – and we’ve said this many times, we know we’ve got a lot of talented young players – but this kid might well be the best of the lot.’

Alan Shearer called him out for u-turning on his previous critique that England were ‘s** * against Denmark’. 

‘If I was a cynic, one would say one was frightened of getting criticised again,’ he said.  

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