Gareth Southgate claims England’s display in their dismal defeat to Italy was a “step in the RIGHT direction” but admits public perception will not be the same with the Three Lions on their worst run since 1992.
- England manager Gareth Southgate was booed after his team lost to Italy.
- The defeat saw England relegated from Nations League A
- Southgate is determined to ‘put things right’ ahead of the World Cup in Qatar
Gareth Southgate has vowed to take the blame for England’s worrying slump after the manager was booed by his own fans in Italy on Friday night.
England were sent down from the Nations League as a result of this loss in Milan, their third loss in five games.
But the most worrying thing for Southgate is that his team has gone five competitive games without a win and without scoring a goal in open play for 450 minutes.
England manager Gareth Southgate was booed by fans at the San Siro after the defeat.
A large section of the English fans made their sentiments very clear by booing Southgate at the final whistle with the pressure on their team mounting ahead of the World Cup starting in just eight weeks.
The Three Lions boss moved to protect his players, insisting he would take criticism for England’s deeply worrying form.
“We’re on a losing streak, it’s up to us to correct that,” Southgate said.
‘The only way to do that is to stick to what we believe in, stick to what made us successful in previous tournaments, and in the end, the players have to stick together.
England have not scored a goal from open play in their last 450 minutes on the pitch
‘There’s going to be a lot of noise, but that’s going to be all around me and that’s absolutely fine. It’s my job to take that pressure for them.
‘I understand the reaction at the end because those are the results we have had in this competition. It is an understandable emotional reaction. Despite England’s dismal sequence, his worst run since 1992, Southgate believed the loss at San Siro represented an improvement.
‘It’s hard for me to be too critical of the performance, we had more possession, more shots, more shots on goal.
“But it’s a spell where ultimately the results are going to be what everyone reacts to, but I thought there were a lot of positives for us as a team tonight.”
“Many good individual performances, I personally thought the performance was a step in the right direction, but I fully understand that because of the result, that will not be the reaction.” Midfielder Declan Rice insisted that England will be strong in the World Cup despite their current problems, adding: “I see in training that there are goals for fun, believe me we will do well.”
Southgate still thinks England showed improvement against Italy despite losing the match
West Ham midfielder Declan Rice is still confident England will be a ‘force’ at the World Cup
It’s disappointing. Every tournament we consider we want to win the group, progress and win all the games.
‘In the League of Nations we have slipped our standards. I didn’t think it was all bad tonight. An opportunity for them and a goal. We controlled the game and passed the ball well, especially in the first half.
‘We just lacked that cutting edge at the end. But it’s coming, much better performances than there were in the summer.’