'Absolute Joke' - Gareth Southgate Rips England Fans Who Booed Harry Maguire
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Gareth Southgate has slammed fans who booed Harry Maguire during England's friendly clash against Ivory Coast.
Maguire was targetted by England fans as he played the full 90 minutes in his side's 3-0 victory at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday.
The Manchester United defender's name was booed when it was read out, with fans also taking aim at him in the early stages of the game.
Speaking after the match, Southgate hit out at fans who taunted Maguire - branding the situation as an 'absolute joke' in a passionate defence.
🗣 "I thought the reception was a joke, an absolute joke. What he has done for us, the way he has performed for England, I don't get it"— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) March 29, 2022
Gareth Southgate was FURIOUS after Harry Maguire was booed by some England fans ahead of the friendly against the Ivory Coast 😡 pic.twitter.com/GwGSApw7aj
"I thought the reception was a joke, an absolute joke," he told Sky Sports.
"The way he has performed for us has been absolutely phenomenal. I don’t get it. We’re either all in this together or we’re not.
"He’s in an England shirt and not only should you support a player in an England shirt regardless, but when you’ve played at the level he has for us and put the performances in he has, it should be total commitment behind him. I don’t get it at all."
Southgate added: "His performance was pretty faultless really. He stepped out from the back really well for his first goal, was involved in the second one too.
"The team are totally united. We recognise everyone has difficult moments but he’s a top player and he will come through it.
"They are real England fans and some are influenced by whatever – social media or players that played previously who are influencing opinion.
"The club situation is obviously very difficult but he’s in an England shirt.
"I remember decades ago a few players being booed in an England shirt and it’s never been acceptable to me. Fans should always get behind their team."
Maguire's performances for Man United this season have been subject to criticism by fans and critics.
Though the reception he received on the international scene has not impressed the Three Lions boss.
As for the actual match, England ran out 3-0 winners against Ivory Coast thanks to goals from Ollie Watkins, Raheem Sterling and Tyrone Mings.
Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports/PA
Topics: Football, Harry Maguire, Gareth Southgate, England, Manchester United