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England fans throw cups at Gareth Southgate whilst booing after dismal draw against Slovenia

England manager Gareth Southgate faced the wrath of discontented fans with applause, despite being subjected to boos and plastic cups thrown in his direction following England’s lacklustre goalless draw against Slovenia.

The final group stage match of Euro 2024 ended in frustration for many, even though England secured the top spot in their group and qualified for the round of 16.

England’s performance left much to be desired, marking their second consecutive draw in the tournament.

The Three Lions dominated possession, controlling nearly three-quarters of the game and outshooting Slovenia 12 to 4. Despite their statistical superiority, England struggled to convert chances into goals, leaving fans frustrated.

Bukayo Saka’s disallowed goal midway through the first half epitomized England’s evening. The Arsenal forward thought he had broken the deadlock by tapping in at the back post after a dazzling move down the right flank, only for the goal to be ruled offside. From that moment on, England found it difficult to penetrate Slovenia’s disciplined defence.

Southgate’s Response

In his post-match interview with ITV, Southgate acknowledged the fans’ frustrations but defended his tactical decisions. “I understand the reactions but it is a tough environment,” he remarked. “We tried to win the game by the changes we made. We put attacking players on the pitch.” Southgate further addressed the scrutiny directed at him, stating, “I understand the narrative towards me. That’s better for the team than it being towards them. But it’s creating an unusual environment to operate in. I’ve not seen any other team qualify and receive similar.”

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Southgate continued to emphasize the importance of fan support. He acknowledged the palpable tension but called on supporters to channel their energy into backing the team. “They were brilliant, in the second half especially there was a constant noise around the team,” he said. “I get it that they are not happy with me, that is the reality, I am not going to back away from that. I need them behind the team.”

Southgate’s plea highlights his dedication to maintaining team morale in the face of external pressures. “I was not going to back away from going over to thank people for coming and giving the support that they did, but I know that this is causing an issue for the group. I can deal with that but I need them to support the players.

The more the fans are like they were in the second half, behind the team it is a massive lift for them, because we are operating in a very, very unusual environment,” he added.