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Southgate questions England fans after Harry Maguire is booed

Gareth Southgate has criticised England fans after Harry Maguire was booed before and during the Three Lions’ 3-0 win over Ivory Coast at Wembley.

Maguire’s club form has made the centre-back a regular target for criticism this season and the Manchester United defender was subject to jeers from sections of the crowd.

 

The 29-year-old’s name was greeted with boos when read out before kick-off and again during his first few touches during the friendly win, though he responded with a solid performance and was involved in England’s opening two goals.

Southgate has criticised the reception from the England support and labelled their treatment of Maguire as ‘an absolute joke’ given the defender’s performances for the national side.

“I thought the reception was a joke. An absolute joke,” Southgate told Sky Sports. “What he’s done for us and the way he has performed for England has been phenomenal. I don’t get it/

“We’re either all in this together or we’re not. He’s in an England shirt and not only should you support someone in an England shirt regardless but when he’s played at the level he has, it should be total commitment behind him. So, I don’t get it.

“He was pretty faultless, stepping out from the back for the first goal and was involved in the second goal. This team is totally united. We recognise people have difficult moments but he’s top player and will come through it.

“They are real England fans. And some are influenced by whatever, I don’t know if it’s social media, players that have played previously that are influencing opinion… Obviously his club situation is difficult but he’s in an England shirt.

“I remember a few decades ago when some players were booed in an England shirt – it’s never been acceptable. I’ve never got it. Why would people play any better? Fans should always get behind their team.”

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