Gareth Southgate has slammed the ‘ridiculous treatment’ of Harry Maguire and admits he has ‘never known’ a player treated in such manner.
Maguire scored an own goal as England beat Scotland 3-1 at Hampden Park on Tuesday evening, having come on as a half-time substitute.
The defender’s error continued a difficult period for Maguire, who was stripped of the Manchester United captaincy during the summer after losing his first-team place under Erik ten Hag.
Maguire has had to deal with intense criticism in recent seasons and Southgate has hit back at the treatment of the 30-year-old.
“I’ve never known a player treated the way he is,” Southgate said, as per the BBC.
“He’s been an absolute stalwart for us in the second most successful England team for decades – he’s been an absolutely key part of that.
“I’ve talked about the importance of our senior players, he’s been crucial among that.
“Every time he goes on the field, the resilience he shows is absolutely incredible. He’s a top player and we’re all with him and our fans were brilliant with him.”
Maguire was jeered by the Scotland supporters during the clash in Glasgow, but Southgate hit out at the recent treatment the centre-back has received from England’s ‘own’ commentators and pundits.
“From a Scotland fans’ point of view I get it. I have absolutely no complaints with what they did,” Southgate continued.
“But it’s a consequence of ridiculous treatment of him for a long period of time.
“It’s a joke. Not by the Scottish fans but by our own commentators, pundits or whatever it is. They’ve created something that’s beyond anything I have ever seen.
“I think our fans recognised, ‘OK there might be a bit of heat from our own supporters but we’re not going to have others getting into him’.”