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Gareth Southgate tells England supporters to stop booing

by 06/10/2017 20:08:00 0 comments 1 Views
  • England supporters booed their team during Thursday's 1-0 win over Slovenia
  • Gareth Southgate urged fans to give his young England side a chance to grow
  • England secured qualification thanks to Harry Kane's winner in added time
  • Southgate's men travel to Lithuania on Sunday in their final group fixture

By Sami Mokbel for the Daily Mail

Published: 17:31 EDT, 6 October 2017 | Updated: 20:08 EDT, 6 October 2017

England manager Gareth Southgate has pleaded with supporters to lay off his young team.

What should have been a night of celebration after Southgate’s side secured World Cup qualification with a 1-0 win over Slovenia descended into farce as fans rounded on the players.

Fans pelted the pitch with paper planes, booed the team and thousands left well before full time. There were similar scenes in Malta last month as travelling England fans ridiculed their team before leaving in droves before the end.

Gareth Southgate said his side are picking up the frustration caused by previous generations
Gareth Southgate said his side are picking up the frustration caused by previous generations

Gareth Southgate said his side are picking up the frustration caused by previous generations

There is a growing disconnect between England’s fans and players, but Southgate has launched a staunch defence, insisting his squad should not carry the can for years of failure.

‘The players need the chance to grow and they need the country to get behind them,’ he said.

‘We are picking up the consequences of decades of disappointment and this group are nowhere near as experienced as those teams.’

However, Southgate accepted the only way to gain the support of the fans is to start winning games with attacking football.

Supporters threw paper planes onto the pitch during England's 1-0 victory over Slovenia 
Supporters threw paper planes onto the pitch during England's 1-0 victory over Slovenia 

Supporters threw paper planes onto the pitch during England's 1-0 victory over Slovenia 

‘We have to keep winning football matches. The more we can play football which excites people and score goals, the more we will win people over. We have some good characters and personalities the public don’t necessarily know properly.

‘We’ve tried to be as open as we can be. We’re in an era where it must be difficult for the fans to relate to players because of what they earn. But these are good kids, desperate to play for England.’

Southgate can take heart from how his team are developing a knack of digging themselves out of some pretty big holes, such as with the injury-time leveller against Scotland in June, a comeback win over Slovakia in September and then Harry Kane’s last-gasp winner against Slovenia this week.

Southgate can look at the unavailability of Danny Rose, Adam Lallana and Dele Alli on Thursday as an excuse for their disjointed display.

Harry Kane's late winner secured qualification and added gloss to a disappointing display
Harry Kane's late winner secured qualification and added gloss to a disappointing display

Harry Kane's late winner secured qualification and added gloss to a disappointing display

Fears over the discipline of Alli, whose dynamism is crucial to England, are well documented. Southgate has already spoken to him about the need to keep cool next summer. But the bigger concern is Alli’s drop in form.

There’s much for Southgate to think about before next summer, but the England boss insists his team will not arrive in Russia just to make up the numbers.

‘You’re always at tournaments to win football matches but you also have to be thinking what is realistic,’ he added.

‘I don’t know how far the team can go at the moment. But what I do know is that we’ve got a group of players who I am proud to manage because they want to pull on the England shirt.’ 

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