In the aftermath of England’s hard-fought win against Scotland, manager Gareth Southgate has unequivocally backed defender Harry Maguire. Southgate decried the treatment meted out to Maguire during the match as “unjust” and voiced his exasperation at the sustained criticism the player has endured.
Hampden Park played host to a gripping England-Scotland clash, but it was Maguire’s entry onto the field that drew widespread attention. Substituted in at half-time due to Marc Guehi’s injury, the towering defender was greeted with ironic cheers by the Scottish faithful for every touch of the ball.
Maguire’s challenge was further compounded when he inadvertently netted an own-goal, a rare misstep in an otherwise sterling performance for England. This wasn’t the first time Maguire had encountered such a situation, having faced a similar scenario during his tenure with Manchester United in a match against Arsenal.
In the post-match interview with Sky Sports News, Gareth Southgate lauded the support Maguire received from England fans at Hampden Park. He commended Maguire’s fortitude and character, highlighting his willingness to face the media following the game.
Southgate pulled no punches in addressing Maguire’s treatment by a faction of the English public. “Because of people in our own country, the opposition think they can have fun with him. What’s that about?” Southgate queried. He underscored Maguire’s pivotal role in the England team, especially during a period of resounding success, stating, “He’s been an incredible player for England in one of the most successful teams we’ve had.”
Expressing palpable frustration, Southgate added, “We allow him to be open to that? It’s a joke; an absolute joke. It makes me livid.” He voiced concern that such treatment might impact other players in the future, questioning whether they too would face similar derision.
Despite the adversity faced on the pitch, Maguire displayed composure, maintaining possession and moving past the own-goal incident. Southgate commended the unwavering support of the England fans and took no issue with the light-hearted banter from the Scotland supporters.