‘The players will learn from it and bounce back’: England boss Gareth Southgate urges fans not to turn on young stars after they were booed off after bore draw… and he defends bold decision to substitute Harry Kane with side chasing a goal against Scotland
- England players were booed off by their own fans following goalless draw
- Southgate made surprising decision to substitute Kane for the closing stages
- England remain in control of their group going into Tuesday’s final group game
- Southgate has hinted at making changes to his starting XI against the Czechs
Gareth Southgate called on the nation not to turn on his young England squad after they were booed off by their own supporters following a lacklustre goalless draw against Scotland.
Southgate, who made the surprising decision to substitute captain Harry Kane for the closing stages of the game, has backed his players to bounce back from the disappointment – but admitted his team must improve after only securing a point against Steve Clarke’s men.
England remain in control of their group going into Tuesday’s final group game against the Czech Republic, but their performance was met with fury by supporters at the final whistle.
England boss Gareth Southgate substituted Harry Kane for the second successive game
Southgate said: ‘Our fans are entitled to react however they want. We have to accept whatever comes our way. We have deal and live with that.
‘What I will say is that I’m totally understanding of that as manager, I totally understand anything that comes my way – what we need to do is get behind the players because there are a lot of young players that need the support of everybody.
‘Most of them haven’t been involved in a game like that before and they are unique occasions.
‘They will learn from it and bounce back but will need everybody behind them.
England boss talks to Kane after the goalless draw with Scotland on Friday night
‘I think it was a frustrating night, we know we can play better. We’ve got to give Scotland credit they defended valiantly and played well.
‘We didn’t do enough to win the game but after that the thing we have to worry about in tournament football after that is we had to make sure we didn’t lose it.
‘We know it’s a disappointment for our supporters, but we have to dust ourselves down and move on.
‘The whole team can look at ourselves, that starts with me, we’ve got to be better.
Jack Grealish was also introduced late on but England could not find a breakthrough
‘We didn’t do enough to win the game tonight, not enough attempts on goal, we have to go away and look at that.
‘I know exactly where this team is – it’s a young team and some of them won’t have experienced a night under this intensity and pressure, that’s a huge learning for then. That’s what we have to look at moving forward.’
Southgate has hinted at making changes to his starting XI for Tuesday’s now crucial game against the Czechs adding: ‘I felt the team that started against Croatia deserved to go again so we have to review now and make the right decision for the Czech Republic game.
‘The games are intense and you have fresh legs to bring into play, we have a squad and have to use it. We took the captain Harry Kane off but the types of players on the bench, we have to use them.’
Defender John Stones were closest for England when his header crashed against the post
The draw leaves Scotland with a realistic chance of qualifying for the knockout stages heading into their final group game against Croatia.
‘A good night, we played well. We were unfairly criticised after the game on Monday I know I have a good group of players and they showed that tonight, delighted for my players and staff,’ said Scots boss Steve Clarke.
‘We had chances to win, England had moments as well, looking at this you wouldn’t have known which is the favourite which is a credit to us.
‘The most pleasing thing was we played when we had the ball and created a number of chances.’