Gareth Southgate has offered his full support to Harry Maguire when he is preparing for the Nations League tie on Friday here against Italy. It is the first opportunity in the competition to move on from June’s terrible start.
England manager admits that he made mistakes, and now he regrets his compromises, and he stakes his reputation on center-back.
In Hungary, Southgate’s team lost by 1-0, and it was only their second loss in 23 matches. They drew with Germany and Italy and lost a reverse match against Hungary by 4-0. At Molineux stadium, Southgate was jeered by the crowd because of these losses.
Southgate said he had lacked ruthlessness and made compromises that he regretted. He said, Suggesting the team’s previous excellent form had taken the edge out of the environment.
England will play with Italy and Germany at Wembley, and then it will be their opening World Cup tie against Iran.
After remembering how the England head coach, Eddie Jones, had stood by his Saracens stars when they were not playing at the required level, Southgate drew a parallel.
Southgate said Eddie felt they were his best players, although they were undercooked, and they were still going to be better than players that weren’t at the level. He said it’s not an ideal situation with Maguire.
Moreover, Southgate said, We’re only a few weeks from pre-season, so physically, if they’ve had a few 90 minutes, that’s fine. Another seven to eight weeks that does start to become more complicated, he said.
Southgate said, Maguire is an important player for us, and it’s important to support our best players. He is our most dominant aerial centre-back, Whatever reputation I have, I’m putting it on there, he said.
Southgate said We were at 22 games without a loss apart from the penalty defeat against Italy. You think for everybody, that’s just going to continue, and maybe you are not quite as ruthless on certain decision making, he said.
Southgate said, Every manager makes mistakes and reflects, and I am not saying I was comfortable. I was saying generally at times when you are on a big run, and you don’t dig as deep into what could be ahead, he said.