Southgate vows to use criticism as fuel for World Cup amid ‘strange narrative’

Southgate has come under fire after a miserable month for England where they failed to win all four of their games and lost twice to Hungary.

The latest of those defeats came on Tuesday night, when England were beaten 4-0 by Hungary at Molineux.

Southgate was booed by supporters during the defeat and he was also subjected to chants of “You don’t know what you’re doing”.

But the England manager is ready for the criticism that comes his way and plans to use it as fuel for the World Cup later this year.

“Would that make Qatar softer? Well, no, you know, succeeding in Qatar would be nice no matter what,” Southgate said.

“Of course, I will use it as fuel. Because when you’re disappointed and you read negativity and feel the vibe, of course you want to fight back and prove people wrong.

“But I’ve done this my whole life, so there’s no extra incentive because of a night like this.

“I know nights like this can happen. They are not pleasant. They are not pleasant. I have seen it with others. But these are the realities of football.

“I found the 10 days strange in terms of the narrative, like I found the last Nations League strange because I think the context was clear. And I didn’t agree with everything that was suggested.

“And I think part of the desire to see open play…we saw tonight that you have to have the right balance of a team. And you have to make those right decisions.

“And with a club, maybe if you’re at the top and you’ve worked with the players for a long time, you can play a more expensive game.

“But I think even the best teams, they’re damn good defensively, they’re good in transition, the balance of everything is good. So I think the idea that we can just play with a lot of attacking players and count on the talent to win games, it’s not like that.

“And, you know, it reminded me tonight in the second half that okay, it’s a bet. You make a bet to try to win the game because you think it’s important. But what happened can happen.