‘I’ll take the heat’: Gareth Southgate shoulders blame as England are booed off after loss to Italy
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 coach Gareth Southgate was booed after his side lost to Italy
- The defeat meant that England were relegated from the Nations League A
- Southgate is determined to ‘get things right’ ahead of the World Cup in Qatar
Gareth Southgate vowed to take the blame for England’s worrying slump after the manager was booed by his own supporters in Italy on Friday night.
England were sent to Nations League relegation as a result of this loss in Milan, their third defeat in five matches.
But more worryingly for Southgate, his side have now gone five competitive games without a win and failed to score a goal in open play for 450 minutes.
England coach Gareth Southgate was booed by supporters at the San Siro after the loss
A large section of England fans made their feelings crystal clear by taunting Southgate at the final whistle with the pressure on his team mounting ahead of the World Cup, which starts in just eight weeks.
The Three Lions boss moved to protect his players and insisted he would take on England’s deeply worrying form.
“We’re on a run of bad results, it’s up to us to put that right,” Southgate said.
‘The only way to do that is to stick to what we believe in, stick to what has made us successful in previous tournaments and at the end of the day the players have to stay really close.
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 it’s going to be around me and that’s perfectly fine. It’s my job to take that pressure for them.
‘I understand the reaction at the end because those are the results we’ve had in this competition. It’s an understandable emotional reaction.’ Despite England’s lackluster run – their worst run since 1992 – Southgate believed the defeat at the San Siro represented an improvement.
– It is difficult for me to be too critical of the performance, we had more possession, more shots, more shots on goal.
“But it’s a period where ultimately results will be what everyone reacts to, but I thought there were a lot of positives for us as a team tonight.
“Lots of good individual performances, I personally thought the performance was a step in the right direction, but I fully understand that because of the result, it’s not going to be the reaction.” Midfielder Declan Rice insisted that England will be at the World Cup despite their current problems, adding: ‘I see it in training that goals are for fun, believe me, we’ll be good.
Southgate still believes England showed improvement against Italy despite losing the game
West Ham midfielder Declan Rice remains confident England will be a “force” at the World Cup
‘It is disappointing. Every tournament we put out, we want to win the group, to go on and win every game.
‘In the Nations League we have slipped our standards. I didn’t think it was all bad tonight. One chance for them and one goal. We controlled the game and passed the ball around well, especially in the first half.
‘We just lacked that edge at the end. But it’s coming, much better performances than there were in the summer.’