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Fans creating ‘unusual atmosphere’ for us — Southgate laments



Fans creating 'unusual atmosphere' for us -- Southgate laments

The pressure isn’t leaving Gareth Southgate any time soon, and now, he is turning it on the travelling fans.

In Cologne, England secured the top spot in Group C and remained unbeaten following a lackluster 0-0 draw against Slovenia in the Euro 2024 group stages. Despite the result, the atmosphere was anything but celebratory, as traveling fans expressed their dissatisfaction in unusual ways.

England manager Gareth Southgate acknowledged the unique and challenging environment created by the supporters after the match, which saw sections of fans booing and throwing plastic cups at him. Southgate addressed the situation, questioning the fans’ actions given the team’s successful qualification to the more favorable side of the knockout draw.

“I’ve not seen any other team qualify and receive a similar reaction. I’m very proud of the players for the way they handled it,” Southgate told Sky Sports.

“The players kept their composure in a game when they have come into it with a really challenging environment. It’s taken me back to days when I was playing for England.”

Southgate’s men, while defensively solid, have struggled offensively, continuing a pattern of sideways and backward passing that led to a dull affair. Despite another clean sheet that saw Jordan Pickford become the outright record holder for shutouts at major tournaments for England, the team’s toothless attack has been a growing concern.

The full-time whistle saw Southgate clapping the England supporters separately from his players, a gesture met with mixed reactions from the crowd. The England boss took the criticism in stride, understanding the scrutiny directed towards him.

“I’m not going to back away from it. I understand the narrative towards me, better for me than it being towards them. It’s creating an unusual atmosphere to operate in,” Southgate added.