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Southgate ahead of Euro 2024 tie versus Slovenia: I’m my own biggest critic

England manager Gareth Southgate has insisted he is his “own biggest critic” amid discontent over the way the Three Lions have performed thus far at the Euro 2024 Championships.
England manager Gareth Southgate has insisted he is his “own biggest critic” amid discontent over the way the Three Lions have performed thus far at the Euro 2024 Championships.

England manager Gareth Southgate has insisted he is his “own biggest critic” amid discontent over the way the Three Lions have performed thus far at the Euro 2024 Championships.

England have four points from their opening two games but have scored just twice in Group C.

A win tonight against Slovenia would guarantee England top spot in their group, and a Round of 16 tie against a third-placed team from one of groups D, E or F.

But former players including Alan Shearer have criticised players while there has also been debate over Southgate’s decision making throughout the squad selection process and the tournament so far.

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“I’m oblivious to it [criticism from pundits]. It’s not important to me,” Southgate said yesterday. “What’s important to me is guiding this group of players through the tournament. We’re a high-profile team with expectations, and I’m very comfortable living that life.

“I don’t need to engage in the external, I’m my own biggest critic. The players are the same. There’s nothing to be gained. We’re brutally honest about what we need to do better – that’s how you coach a team and how you improve.”

Southgate expectations

Added Southgate: “We haven’t changed our objectives, or what’s possible. But we know we have to find a different level to what we’ve shown so far. I’m expecting we’ll do that.

“Phil [Foden] has played in a lot of different positions for us, and we need to create more as a team – it’s not about one player. It’s about a team functioning and working together to get results.

“Our progress is about a team. Yes, important players within the team, but the ethos of this group is about the team.”

Southgate confirmed, however, that Luke Shaw is not in his plans for tonight’s game.

England are two points clear of Denmark in Group C with tonight’s opponents level on points with the Scandinavians.

Serbia have one point from their opening two games.