‘Amazing’ Gareth Southgate backed to continue as England boss by Harry Maguire


Harry Maguire hailed “amazing” Gareth Southgate as the England boss considers his future following an agonising World Cup 2022 quarter-final exit at the hands of France.

Harry Kane scored a penalty and missed a second as a 2-1 loss to Les Bleus prevented England reaching successive World Cup semi-finals for the first time in their history.

Southgate has said he wants time to reflect on the tournament before deciding if he will continue on, with his contract running to after Euro 2024.

His players, however, have come out in support of the 52-year-old, with Maguire the latest to praise Southgate.

“Listen, Gareth has been amazing with myself, amazing with every player in the team,” he said.

“I’m sure if you asked every player in the team they wouldn’t be able to speak highly enough of him, his man management, the way that this team has been built and developed over a period of time.

“Over the last five or six years with Gareth in charge you can really see the development. I know being an England manager is so tough, they get every decision they make scrutinised, every squad they make, ‘he should be in’ or ‘he shouldn’t be in’. Every team he picks, ‘he should play’ or ‘he shouldn’t play’… that is being an England manager.

“He knows how to handle it, he handles everything really well and tactically he gets all the big decisions right and he has proven that again this tournament.

“This is tournament football and you can only look after the performance. Four years ago against Croatia we didn’t play well enough to progress through to the final.

“In this game we lose but we did everything right and sometimes this if football and sometimes the best team doesn’t win. That is why everyone loves the game.”

Maguire believes a shift in England’s mentality means the loss to France hit harder than recent tournament defeats, having also represented his country in the run to the semi-finals in Russia four years ago and the shootout defeat by Italy in last summer’s Euro 2020 final.

“The hardest thing to take, it is the most disappointed I’ve been, the reason is that we believed we would win the tournament,” he added.

“That is not arrogant. There are five or six teams who believe the same thing. It is the first tournament I’ve come to where the group of players getting to a quarter-final, going through and losing in a semi-final or a final would not have felt good enough for us.”


The Manchester United skipper went into the World Cup having been dropped by Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag.

But he started every game for England, retaining the faith of Southgate, and believes he “proved” himself once again.

“Personally, at the moment, I am a lad, I love my country and to go out of a tournament, I’m not looking at myself, I’m looking at the team,” he added.

“Obviously I’ve played every game and I’m proud of my mentality to prove to myself again… I don’t need to prove to others… but at the moment, I don’t look at myself.

“I look at the team and every time I put this shirt on, I want the team to do well. Listen I’d have much preferred to have a bad game tonight and gone through.”

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