VMoses then fired an effort high and wide off the target as Nigeria looked to capitalise on their newfound control of the game, although England continued to pose a threat from set pieces and Dier perhaps should have done better with a glancing header from a corner shortly after the hour mark.
The 23-year-old Manchester City forward has been under intense scrutiny during the past week after it emerged he had a tattoo of a gun on his right leg.
England's cause was not helped when Sterling capped off a week in which he hit the headlines for off-field reasons by picking up a deserved yellow card for diving, throwing himself to ground in an attempt to win a penalty from Uzoho.
But the game represented little as a true test for England who benefited from a string of first-half errors by Nigeria. "He was travelling at such speed", he said.
Southgate said: "I think we played really well, with the ball especially".
"I had a decision about whether to play him when he turned up late, but once he started coming under fire from all directions it wasn't a hard decision". The most important thing I do in the next six weeks is protect the players. Victor Moses was the last to arrive camp and he has had just one training session with us and will have another today (Friday).
'We don't want to do that. "It's a distraction you don't need, but it's one of those I've learned to deal with now and block out". "You have to balance the message to the group".
Southgate was clearly not happy with Sterling's time-keeping, and admitted after the game on Saturday that he might have left him out of his starting XI. "Talking about the stars of the tournament, I hope some of the young players in my team become the stars of this World Cup and my team also shines like a million stars at the tournament".More news: Saudi Arabia's King Salman reshuffles cabinet with eye on culture
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The official home and away strips for Russian Federation 2018 reportedly sold out within three minutes of going on sale on Nike's online store on Friday, while people were seen queuing outside a flagship Oxford Street shop in London.
"I think the pace in the team you can feel it".
Nigerian fans are coming to terms with a loss to England in a friendly game at the Wembley on Saturday, just a day after their "beautiful" jersey was the hottest sports story in the world.
Southgate's men face Tunisia in their first group match on June 18.
Young has certainly not seen off the competition for his place from Tottenham's Danny Rose. Everybody has to maintain his level.
"Raheem dropping deep and collecting the ball meant we were able to flood the midfield so I was happy with his performance".
Spotting Trippier's over-lapping run, Alli teed up his Tottenham team-mate for a low cross that Lingard flicked goalwards, only for Uzoho to make a fine save.