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Southgate speaks out after Hungary defeat

Southgate speaks out after England's horrible UEFA Nations League 4-0 defeat vs Hungary

June 15, 2022 By Ali M.
The Three Lions suffered their worst home defeat in nearly a century in their clash with Hungary. Here's what the manager had to say

Tuesday was a historic day for the English national team, but for all the wrong reasons.

The Three Lions returned to action in the UEFA Nations League and welcomed Hungary in their search for their first victory this season. Prior to this clash, the European giants played three times and drew twice while losing their opener, which was – surprise, surprise – against the Hungarians.

Unfortunately, Harry Kane and Co. were not able to get revenge and were instead humiliated on home soil, losing 4-0 while getting a man sent off (John Stones in the 82nd minute).

This result set an unwanted record as it was England's heaviest home defeat since losing 6-1 to Scotland 94 years back (1928). Additionally, the continental powerhouse remain bottom of their group, sitting three points behind third-placed Italy, and are thus in grave danger of getting relegated.

As for Gareth Southgate, calls for the Three Lions boss to get sacked reached an all-time high after that defeat. "You don't know what you're doing" and boos could be heard at the Molineux Stadium while some pundits and fans alike suggested that this might be the time to part ways with the manager.

Speaking after the game, Southgate did not shy away from taking responsibility or accepting the criticism. The tactician admitted that this defeat, as well as the three previous disappointing results, were all down to him and him alone.

"We picked a young team with energy and when the game started to go against them, it started to look that way. That's my responsibility in the end," Southgate told Channel 4, as per Sky Sports.

"I said to the players, our four matches is my responsibility. I have to balance looking at new players, rest players. We couldn't keep flogging out our experienced players.

"It was an important experience for lots of young players in these games. We've learned a lot in Germany and Italy games. Hungary are a good side and we knew that. I gave them too much to do tonight.

"I understand the reaction in the stadium, what I would say is that in these sets of fixtures, these players have been unbelievable for the country. They have to stay with them.

"Tonight was the sort of night that my predecessors have had. It's important to stand. I'm not going to say it doesn't hurt."

However, Southgate also pointed out that he hasn't enjoyed a fully-fit squad as fatigue, injury, and COVID-19 meant the lineup was in constant rotation. Additionally, captain Harry Kane also pled for patience from the fans by pointing to their recent performances in major competitions, reaching the Euro 2020 final and the 2018 FIFA World Cup semifinal.

Nonetheless, with Qatar 2022 fast approaching, England's recent form is one for concern. The Three Lions, who boast one of the most star-studded squads in world football, lack rhythm in attack and have not yet scored from open play in this edition of the UEFA Nations League. The defense hasn't looked stable as well, meaning Southgate might have to go back to the drawing board up until the next list of fixtures in late September.

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