Southgate: ‘Difficult to be critical of England against Italy’

England manager Gareth Southgate insists it is ‘difficult to be too critical of the performance’ in their 1-0 defeat to Italy and shrugs off the growing pressure after their Nations League relegation.

The Three Lions are now without a win in five matches and have failed to score from open play in 495 minutes of football.

They are qualified for the 2022 World Cup, but are also in dire shape and have been relegated after finishing bottom of the Nations League group with just two points from five games.

“It’s difficult to be too critical of the performance, as we had more possession, more shots, more shots on target,” insisted the manager in his press conference.

“I personally thought the performance was a step in the right direction, but I completely understand that because of the result, that won’t be the reaction externally.”

Southgate also seemed to be booed by some of the travelling England fans when he went to salute them after the final whistle at San Siro.

“I understand the reaction at the end because of the results we’ve had in this competition. It is an understandable emotional reaction.”

Southgate is also happy to shrug off the growing questions from the English media about whether he should be replaced going into the 2022 World Cup in November.

“There’ll be a lot of noise but that will be around me and that is absolutely fine. It’s my job to take that pressure for them.”

Relegation to the Nations League B is not just a humiliation, but also means England will have a much tougher draw in qualifying for the next European Championship.

9 Comments on “Southgate: ‘Difficult to be critical of England against Italy’”

  1. More possession? More shots? Uh, maybe on paper someone was generous to you… but italy outplayed England – again… we’ve become their boogie team… best Italy performance since we last spanked them…

  2. Wait, so is he trying to say that they deserved to win??? Gigio has absolutely nothing to do whilst Italy scored, hit the post and forced their keeper into two good saves. 😂😂😂

  3. Romulus.

    What do you mean ‘become’?? England have never ever beaten Italy in a World Cup or euro’s. If I’m not mistaken, the last time we even lost a competitive match to England was either in the mid or late 70’s.

  4. We are not going to the world cup for the second time in a row, let´s calm dowm a bit. Sorry to ruin the party but we should not be celebrating these players, useless bunch

  5. england had no close chances, like bonucci said they had all night, this is why englih fans dont like southgate, he far too defensive watch a diferent match

  6. Vincent.

    After the disappointment of 2000 and 2012, and the heartbreak of 2008 and 2016, I’d have gladly taken not qualifying for the wc at the beginning of last summer if you had guaranteed we would win the euro. The fact is that when I was born, we were world champs, saw us win the World Cup in 2006 and now I can say we are european champions. I’ll take being ‘useless’ whilst being european champions. Disappointments are momentary in time, but winning is immortality.

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