Maguire calls for calm over England criticism: 'We got to a World Cup semi-final playing like this'

By Sports Desk June 12, 2022

Harry Maguire has defended England and Gareth Southgate from criticism relating to their style of play, pointing out they did well at the last World Cup and Euro 2020 playing the same way.

England were held to a 0-0 draw by Italy at Molineux on Saturday, leaving them with two points after their first three Nations League games.

Of similar concern is the fact the Three Lions have not scored a single goal from open play in those matches, with their solitary strike coming from the penalty spot in the midweek 1-1 draw with Germany.

Manager Southgate has been criticised for perceived cautious tactics, which many consider to be the root of the issue.

But Maguire is not convinced, suggesting they are not doing anything different to when they reached the 2018 World Cup semi-finals or the Euro 2020 final.

"[Southgate's] record over the last four years speaks for itself," Maguire told BBC Radio 5 Live. "When you play at the highest level there's pressure and scrutiny and criticism, and every game that you don't win there will always be criticism [afterwards].

"The last few games we haven't scored enough goals, but we got to a World Cup semi-final playing this way and we were a penalty shoot-out away from winning the Euros in our home country, which would've been one of the greatest moments this country has ever seen."

Maguire then urged England fans to get behind the team, with the World Cup less than six months away.

"Let the football do the talking. Everyone get behind us for the World Cup and keep pushing us, we're doing our best to improve," he continued.

"We've shown there's still areas to improve and if we want to lift the World Cup we have to strive to improve.

"Every day that we're together we have to aim for that because we want to set high standards and the next [aim] is to lift the trophy."

England are next in action at home to Hungary on Tuesday as they look to finally get their first Nations League win of the year and get off foot of the Group A3 table.

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