• News

‘It is a joke’ – Southgate hits back at Maguire criticism

© Ace Football

The Three Lions boss has defended Harry Maguire amid the relentless criticism aimed at the defender.

England manager Gareth Southgate has slammed the criticism that Harry Maguire has had.

Despite being named in the Euro 2020 Team of the Tournament two years ago, Maguire’s spot in the England team has come under question.

Poor form and a lack of game time at Manchester United have increased pressure. Unfortunately, things didn’t improve on Tuesday, when he scored an own goal after coming on at half-time in England’s 3-1 win over Scotland.

“It’s a joke. I’ve never known a player treated the way he is,” Southgate said of Maguire’s criticism at Hampden Park.

“He’s been a steadfast player for us in the second most successful England team for decades. He’s been a key part of that.”

Fans chanted Maguire’s name throughout the second half of the Scotland friendly. They even added a twist to the chant after Harry Kane added to Phil Foden and Jude Bellingham’s first-half goals, saying: “Harry Maguire, he’s winning 3-1!”

Regardless, Southgate praised the 30-year-old’s character and said he’s an asset to the team.

“He’s fronted up as he always does, so again enormous credit to his character,” the Three Lions coach added.

England end the international break with one win in two games. They’ll be back in action on October 13 at home to Australia in a friendly.