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Southgate jeers ‘causing an issue’ for England players at Euro 2024

Gareth Southgate says the booing and jeering of him by England fans is “causing an issue” for his players, who he says need their support at Euro 2024. 

The head coach and his assistant Steve Holland met a hostile reception when they went onto the pitch after the final whistle of Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with Slovenia in Cologne.

Despite the fact the result clinched top spot in Group C as they look forward to the knockout stage, the pair were booed by the travelling supporters and cups were thrown on the field following another uninspiring performance by the Three Lions.

“I understand it,” Southgate said in his post-match press conference. “I’m not going to back away from it. The most important thing is the supporters stay with the team.

“I understand the narrative towards me and that’s better for the team than it being towards them. But it is creating an unusual environment to operate in. I’ve not seen any other team qualify and receive similar.

“I understand it, I’m not going to back away from it, but I’m very proud of the players for how they’re operating within it.”

Speaking to BBC Radio 5live, Southgate reiterated that he could take the acrimony on the chin, but hopes the fanbase put their full weight behind the England players in the round of 16 and potentially beyond.

“They (fans) were brilliant, in the second half especially there was a constant noise around the team,” he said. “I get it that they are not happy with me, that is the reality, I am not going to back away from that. I need them behind the team.

“I have to deal with what I am dealing with. I was not going to back away from going over to thank people for coming and giving the support that they did, but I know that this is causing an issue for the group.

“I can deal with that but I need them to support the players. The more the fans are like they were in the second half, behind the team it is a massive lift for them, because we are operating in a very, very unusual environment.”

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