Gareth Southgate pleads with the country not to turn on his players after they
were lucky to scrape a goalless draw against Scotland.
The Wembley crowd jeered the team during the game as they created just one shot
on target and booed at the final whistle to make their feelings known.
Southgate admits his team stank the place out but urged expectant fans not to pile in
on his young squad, who must now bounce back against the Czech Republic on Tuesday
to guarantee qualification from Group D.
The Three Lions boss said: “We know we didn’t hit the level we wanted to or needed
to but we have to accept whatever comes our way. I totally understand that as the manager.
“What we need to do is make sure we get behind the players. The young players need
the support of everybody.
“They’ll bounce back from it but they need everyone behind them.
“Our fans expect us to win and play well. It’s fine if the public wants to be critical of me
as a manager but my job is to protect the players.
“Our fans are entitled to react however they want. We’re disappointed with our own
“We’re expected to beat Scotland, they’re frustrated by that and in the end, we’ve got to
learn from that and deal with that.”
Captain Harry Kane was hauled off for the second game running after an abject display in
which he was completely dominated by Norwich’s Grant Hanley.
France Euro clash
Southgate skirted around questions on whether the Tottenham star’s transfer talk is
affecting his form and said: “I think the whole team have got to look at the whole
performance and our use of the ball and review where we can be better.
“That’s right across the board. It’s not about one person. Scotland marked him extremely
well, with the back five there’s not a lot of space.”
Defender Luke Shaw leapt to the defence of the under-fire forward, who again looked a
yard off the pace before being replaced by Marcus Rashford.