England boss Gareth Southgate has hit out at the supporters that booed Harry Maguire during the Three Lions’ win over Ivory Coast and believes that fans should back their team. The Englishman has struggled for form with Manchester United this season with his performances heavily criticized.
While most of the pre-game build-up was around Wilfried Zaha and his England past, things changed by the end of the clash between England and Ivory Coast. While the Three Lions sailed to a 3-0 win over the 10 man Ivory Coast, the big talking point was the fact that Harry Maguire was consistently met with boos during the game. The center-back has endured a tough time this season with Manchester United and it has seen many wonder why Gareth Southgate still keeps the faith in him.
That combined with pundits and critics alike getting after Maguire saw the defender booed by fans at Wembley not just during the game but before as well. It did not go down well with Gareth Southgate who hit out at the supporters as he believes that the real England fans need to support every player playing in a Three Lions kit. He also added that the defender played well and has done so for his country, with the entire squad behind Maguire during a tough spell at the club level.
"I thought the reception was a joke. An absolute joke. 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," Southgate told Sky Sports
“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,” he added.