Sterling backs Southgate and calls for England players to respond after Hungary humiliation

By Sports Desk June 15, 2022

Raheem Sterling insisted "there is no panic" as he called on England players to respond after a humiliating defeat to Hungary, while he backed Gareth Southgate.

England are in serious danger of relegation from the Nations League top tier after going winless in June's internationals, losing twice to Hungary either side of draws with Germany and Italy.

The Three Lions have scored just once, through a Harry Kane penalty in Germany, but the most recent 4-0 thrashing at home to Hungary caused the greatest concern.

Hungary became the first team to score four goals in an away match against England since the Hungarians themselves won 6-3 at Wembley in November 1953.

It was also the first time England have lost a home match by four or more goals since March 1928, when they lost 5-1 to Scotland.

That led to questions over Southgate, with boos audibly ringing around Molineux on Tuesday, but Sterling placed his backing in the England manager.

When suggested Southgate has been a good manager for England after leading them to the World Cup semi-finals and Euro 2020 final, Sterling added to BBC Radio 5 Live: "And the country.

"I keep saying after these last couple of games - you can't be judged on that. If you look at the steps that he's made over the last couple of tournaments, semi-final and a final, I think a Nations League couple of bad results is not something that we can judge him on.

"He's led us incredibly well. And he's showed us the way, he's helped us mature from young men to senior pros, a lot of us in the dressing room.

"He's doing that now with a lot of the young lads and he's trying to make sure that everyone's got enough experience for when we do hit the big time that we're all ready."

The Manchester City star was sent on at half-time with England 1-0 down, before three further Hungary goals followed in the second half.

Sterling believes there is no reason to be concerned as England look to bounce back in September, before heading to the World Cup in Qatar two months later.

"I think it's one that there is no panic for me," he added. "Of course, yes, it's really difficult to take that result.

"It's a game that we should win, but it's been a long old season and, again, we'll go away, readjust ourselves and come back even better.

"No one was expecting it. I think it's been a disappointing camp overall in the sense that there have been games that we should have won.

"Of course it's disappointing, there's going to be question marks, there's going to be doubts. But I'm more than confident in the group that we have. It's solely down to us as players.

"We put good enough sides on for each and every match that we've played and we just haven't got the results.

"We haven't been competitive enough, we haven't been ruthless enough – myself also.

"So, it's one that we just look at ourselves as a collective and I know once we have that well-deserved break that we need and we come back, we'll be ready again."

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