Gareth Southgate.

Gareth Southgate is not happy with England fans booing the team Vs Malta

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It's fair to say, Gareth Southgate wasn't the most popular choice when he was named England manager.

The former England Under-21 boss made the step-up to the senior ranks after an uninspiring Roy Hodgson reign was quickly followed up by a controversial and brief stint under Sam Allardyce.

England have not made a tournament semi-final since Euro '96 on home soil, and if the Premier League is the best in the world - allegedly - how comes England cannot get it right?

They've had plenty of stars over the past decade but have failed to justify their billing.

Early on in his tenure, Southgate doesn't look like he's going to radically change that and fans voice their displeasure with the way the Three Lions are playing during the 4-0 win over Malta on Friday night.

Southgate doesn't believe that is helpful to the cause and he wants Wembley to become a fortress, not a hinderance.

Southgate said: "Is it (fans’ criticism) helpful for the team? I don’t see how it can be helpful for the team. But we have to get on and perform as we did and play through it. What I hope is the fans really get behind us.

"There’s nothing better than playing in your own stadium and feeling the fans are a huge advantage for you and intimidating the opposition. That’s what supporting is all about.

England Training Session and Press Conference

"I understand our job is to entertain and excite the supporters. But we want to get to a World Cup. The notion the players aren’t proud to play is outrageous, really. They’re unbelievably proud to play.

"Yes, they might not play as well as they’d like to sometimes, but there’s no one not giving 100 per cent.

‘To be successful is going to mean more if we are all in it together. That is the pride of playing for England.

"The easiest thing in the world would be to pull out, but we picked 28 players and 28 turned up. That’s a really good sign, and it hasn’t always been the case. It’s a shame the guys who come get stick, and the guys who duck out escape.


"I’ve played in teams where people were there every time, and others weren’t. It’s not important who those players are.

"But that’s why some people get 50, 60 or 70 caps and others, who may be good players, don’t. The important ones are those who get the 70 caps."

Southgate might be right, but if England continue their insipid displays with the players at their disposal, fans are going to get tetchy. Especially when it's not even as if the less than exciting style yields results!

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