‘The most successful England manager since Sir Alf Ramsey’ – Harry Maguire defends Gareth Southgate

    England v Italy: UEFA Nations League - League Path Group 3
    Harry Maguire was subbed on during England’s 4-0 loss to Hungary (Photo: Getty)

    Harry Maguire has defended Gareth Southgate following England’s disastrous Nations League campaign and believes that the Three Lions can win the World Cup.

    After reaching the semi-final of the 2018 World Cup and the final of Euro 2020 last summer, England are one of the favourites for this year’s tournament which kicks-off in November.

    But their preparation for Qatar has gone horribly wrong so far, with the national team failing to win any of their four Nations League games in June, which culminated in a 4-0 loss to Hungary at Molineux, England’s worst home defeat since 1928.

    Southgate’s side looked tired and lacklustre in their two defeats to Hungary and their draws with Italy and Germany, with Harry Kane’s penalty against the latter their only goal in those matches.

    Fans showed their anger towards the side and Southgate during and after the Molineux loss, with chants of, ‘You don’t know what you’re doing’, and calls for the manager to be sacked.

    England v Hungary: UEFA Nations League - League Path Group 3
    Gareth Southgate is under pressure after England’s terrible results (Photo: Getty)

    Maguire, who himself was booed while getting subbed on against Hungary, agrees their performance was terrible but says he will back his boss to the end.

    ‘Gareth is the most successful England manager since Sir Alf Ramsey in 1966,’ the Manchester United captain told SunSport.

    ‘We all can’t wait to work with him and the backroom team again at the World Cup. His managerial record is as good as anyone currently out there in international football.

    ‘There’s no reason why we can’t do really well, and our goal is to improve on our previous tournaments and make the country proud.

    ‘We deserved more from the first three games but against Hungary on Tuesday wasn’t acceptable.

    ‘We all know that. Everyone needs a break now and a recharge. The spirit in the camp has been great despite the results.’

    Southgate and others previously cited fatigue as a factor in their recent poor performances, and the World Cup being held during the football season rather than the usual summer timeslot could possibly benefit this England team.

    Despite a poor season, centre-back Maguire is likely to make the plane to Qatar, where England will face Iran on the opening day of the tournament, followed by the USA and Wales.

    MORE : England post-mortem: Hungary defeat could be beginning of the end for Gareth Southgate – he needs Man Utd captain Harry Maguire more than ever

    MORE : Arsenal legend Ray Parlour names two possible replacements for under-fire England boss Gareth Southgate

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