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Fans left furious at what Gareth Southgate and Declan Rice said on England’s relegation

Fans have been left furious at what Gareth Southgate and Declan Rice said on England’s relegation after Nations League defeat to Italy.

Gareth Southgate says he understands the boos directed at him from England supporters come the full time whistle but believes the 1-0 defeat to Italy was a step in the right direction.

England were relegated to League B of the Nations League which ramps up huge concerns about the prospects of Southgate’s side two months out from the World Cup.

The Three Lions boss will be left in no doubt about the feelings of the fans as he was again booed after the game when going to clap the 4,000 away fans inside the San Siro. His side are now without a win in five – their worst run in eight years – and have major problems to address before they go to Qatar.

When asked about the full-time boos, he said: “I understand the reaction at the end because that’s the results we’ve had in this competition. It’s an understandable emotional reaction.”

After an uninspiring first half, where England’s 3-4-3 system and Bukayo Saka’s role at left wing-back failed to shine, they were undone on the 68th minute when Napoli’s Giacomo Raspadori was allowed to bring down a long ball in the box and bend into the far corner after Kyle Walker stepped off.

England failed to create any kind of serious chances from their 14 efforts of goal whilst Gianluca Scamacca and Giovanni Di Lorenzo both smacked the ball against the woodwork for the Italians.

Despite the clear problems with their ability to create clear cut chances, Southgate thinks his side took “a step in the right direction” ahead of the World Cup.

He said: “It’s difficult for me to be too critical of the performance. We had more possession, more shots, more shots on target. For large parts of the game we played very well. We didn’t deal with the decisive moment defensively and we had moments where we could have been more decisive in their final third.

“Our quality wasn’t quite right. It’s a spell where ultimately results are going to be everything reacts to but I thought there were lots of positive signs for us as a team. There were lots of good individual performances. The performance was a step in the right direction. But I completely understand that isn’t going to be the reaction externally.

“We’re not in an ideal situation in terms of numbers of players playing at the highest level but we’ve got to keep working at it and keep on track. There will be a huge amount of noise but that has been created from the summer and I totally understand that.

“The players know this was a game they could have won. If they take their chances and defend the goal better then we do win. It’s fine margins against the biggest football nations and the fine margins are decisive.

“We are where we are in terms of the timing so we need to do the best we can in terms of keeping the guys on track. The reaction to what I say now will be guided by the result completely but we weren’t far off in terms of performance.

“I have got to keep the players believing in what they are doing and keep them from being distracted by going into areas that aren’t correct. That’s the task I’ve got.”

After the match, Declan Rice told Channel 4: ‘It’s obviously disappointing. Every tournament we go in, we want to win the group and progress and win every game. We’ve slipped below our standards.

‘I didn’t think it was all bad tonight, one chance for them, one goal. I thought we controlled the game.

‘We’ve passed around well especially in the first half, just lacked that cutting edge in the end.

‘It’s coming. Much better performances than there were in the summer.

‘It’s not that we’re not creating the chances,’ Rice said. ‘So many times, we got into the penalty box. Even myself, I could have had a shot, instead of laying it off.

‘I see it in training, there’s goals for fun. Trust me, we’re gonna be good.’

Sky Sports’ Peter Smith: “Gareth Southgate described it as a step in the right direction – but England’s performance against Italy looked more like a team that was lost. The result was a bad one, given Italy’s recent struggles, and the manner of it has rung alarm bells among the fanbase.

“Two months out from Qatar, England can’t buy a goal from open play, with the attack disjointed from the rest of the team. It’s 22 years since they went three games without a goal at all, while stat comparisons with San Marino’s scoring record in this Nations League underline just how bad it has got.

“That disconnection between Kane and his colleagues comes from Southgate opting to pack the defence. And with a back three behind two protecting in midfield, England looked relatively secure – if excessively cautious – until an individual mistake from Walker gave Raspadori room to score.

“However, the change to four at the back to offer more support up top then left England exposed at the other end. One solution seems to cause a problem elsewhere. They are issues you’d expect to have been resolved this deep into a manager’s tenure.

“But unless Southgate can figure out how to get that balance right in the next couple of months, England will have real problems reversing this slump in Qatar.”

As mentioned, fans were left furious at what Gareth Southgate and Declan Rice said on England’s relegation…

@AFC_Nick_: “Trust me, we’re gonna be good” 😭 thanks for the reassuring words Declan, I’m convinced now

@BradWright1998: Is this a West Ham interview? Literally identical

@RobsonGreen7: Shock we struggling for goals with the most negative manager in world football. #SouthgateOut

@Jonochapman19: It’s a piss poor interview isn’t it Declan

@Saddlersx1: “we controlled the game” well you didn’t because you lost… again. it’s all good saying you “controlled the game” when you’re losing back to back to back. Southgate has got into his own players heads.

@ryanzafc: Southgate has brainwashed them. It was fucking shit Declan. Five games, four defeats, one goal (a penalty).

@DanAuton2590: “Stick with what’s got us success in previous tournaments”. So you’re openly not willing to do anything different even though you’ve now clearly, clearly been sussed out? Isn’t that wonderful? Don’t need any more proof to sack him right now #SouthgateOut

@smit112: This guy has been robbing a living. Beaten shit teams in major tournaments. Would never get a prem job. Negative shit tactics. We are out in the group stage

@TomMB1994: What success? I hate this narrative that we’ve somehow been brilliant the last two tournaments. We should’ve got to the final in 2018 and won the Euros

@ClaretnBlueLife: Na, it’s your job to win games

@dthornes88: Pick players who are actually turning out for their clubs.

@CairneyhelpyouV: The noise is for you 🤡

@Marcprobert3: What success?? He’s won nothing?

@john07lawrence: They don’t need any pressure taken off them they need you taken away from them 🤣🤔

@Evz1377: The success??? we got to the final but Southgate blew it with his over protective boring tactics that he’s not learnt a single thing about seeing as we haven’t changed tact one bit get rid now we won’t win bugger all with this tool

@molineux4eva: Success? You couldn’t hand pick a better draw in both tournaments. We should’ve won 1 of them. Success is not semi-finals and finals. Success is winning !!!

@LeAdderNoire: People are finally catching on to the fact Gareth Southgate is a dreadful manager decimating a golden generation of attacking talent. We’ve won one match of note against Germany at the Euros and failed every other time we’ve faced a big gun in a meaningful match. #SouthgateOut

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