Gareth Southgate has the full support of the Football Association after chair Debbie Hewitt provided an impassioned defence of the "high IQ" and emotionally intelligent England manager.

England have made it to the World Cup semi-finals and Euro 2020 showpiece under Southgate, the latter of which the Three Lions' first final appearance at a major tournament in 55 years.

But pressure has mounted after a dismal start to their Nations League campaign in June, losing to Hungary twice either side of draws with Germany and Italy to leave England in danger of relegation.

The most recent 4-0 thrashing to Hungary was the first time England have lost a home match by four or more goals since March 1928, when they lost 5-1 to Scotland.

Hungary also 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.

Frustrated supporters could be heard chanting "you don't know what you're doing" at Molineux towards Southgate, who later vowed to not out-stay his welcome in charge.

With the World Cup in Qatar just five months away, Hewitt was quick to outline her support for the 51-year-old despite ongoing questions over his tactics.

"My personal opinion on Gareth is that he is, by the facts on the pitch, the most successful England manager we've had for 55 years," Hewitt told reporters at a news conference.

"The bit people don't see as much is the Gareth at camp and the culture he's created.

"Certainly prior to Gareth being the manager of England, there was not the pride of wearing the England shirt. There were the club rivalries we'd read about. The players not getting on.

"He's changed that beyond recognition and I've seen that first hand.

"I'd also say that I don't just work in football, I work in business and I've worked with a lot of chief executives and Gareth's skills — his high IQ and high EQ — would make him a chief exec in any sphere.

"That resilience and accountability [are] the two qualities I admire most. There are no slopy shoulders, he doesn't huff, he's resilient and that's what you want in an England manager."

While offering her support publicly, Hewitt says the reaction of Southgate to private conversations expressing the FA's backing also highlighted his credible demeanour.

"Gareth's reaction, as in everything with that sort of conversation, was that it is his accountability, there's always something to learn," she continued.

"That's why it's refreshing working with somebody like that because that openness to learn is quite remarkable and quite unusual in any sphere."

Southgate took charge, initially as caretaker manager, in 2016 and impressed after Sam Allardyce's one-game tenure, with the former Middlesbrough manager earning the permanent job.

After England qualified for the World Cup in Qatar with victory over San Marino in November 2021, Southgate was handed a three-year extension, keeping him as Three Lions' manager until December 2024.

The World Cup will start just one year after he signed the long-term extension and debate has been sparked over whether conducting negotiations was sensible before the results and performances in that tournament are known, but Hewitt assures the correct decision was made.

"I don't think we would be discussing [the contract] had we not had the recent series of games. Clearly, we did that [agreed the new deal] with proper discussion and thought," she added.

"The fact that there's been a stumble does not make us automatically say 'should we have given him a contract?' It is a red herring.

"We have confidence in Gareth for all the reasons I described and I think that's the important thing. And it's particularly important going into the biggest tournament."

Harry Maguire has defended under-fire England boss Gareth Southgate after a 4-0 defeat to Hungary, claiming he remains one of the best managers in international football.

Maguire, who came on as a late substitute with England 3-0 down at Molineux on Tuesday, says the loss was "unacceptable" but insisted the Three Lions can make a big impact at the World Cup this year.

England are facing the threat of Nations League relegation after taking just two points from four Group A3 games, following up draws against Germany and Italy with their heaviest home defeat since a 5-1 hammering by Scotland in 1928.

A failure to win any of their four games this month also leaves England on their worst run since June 2014, when they went without a victory in five games during a month which saw them finish bottom of their group at the 2014 World Cup under Roy Hodgson.

Hungary also became the first team to score four goals in an away match against England since their historic 6-3 triumph at Wembley in 1953, leading Southgate to come under fire from supporters.

Chants of "you don't know what you're doing" were aimed at Southgate by home fans during the hammering, but Maguire says he remains the right man to lead the team in Qatar later this year.

"Gareth is the most successful England manager since Sir Alf Ramsey in 1966," the defender told the Sun. "We all can't wait to work with him and the backroom team again at the World Cup.

"His managerial record is as good as anyone currently out there in international football.

"There's no reason why we can't do really well and our goal is to improve on our previous tournaments and make the country proud.

"We deserved more from the first three [Nations League] games, but against Hungary on Tuesday it wasn't acceptable.

"We all know that. Everyone needs a break now and a recharge. The spirit in the camp has been great, despite the results."

England face just two more Nations League contests – versus Germany and Italy in September – before they open their World Cup campaign against Iran on November 21.

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."

Hungary boss Marco Rossi has leapt to the defence of England counterpart Gareth Southgate after a 4-0 drubbing at Molineux left the Three Lions at risk of relegation in the Nations League.

A woeful international break has seen England fail to win any of their four matches, with two defeats to Hungary either side of draws against Germany and Italy – with only a single goal to show from it, coming via a Harry Kane penalty.

That has seen pressure mount upon Southgate with the World Cup lying in wait later this year, with England having just two more Nations League fixtures in September before the squad gathers for the trip to Qatar.

Southgate was booed by the home fans following the latest defeat, with many calling for a change to be made, but Rossi insists that he is still the right man to lead England into the World Cup.

"I know that losing 4-0 at home to Hungary [is hard to take] not against Brazil or Argentina," he told a news conference.

"Even in that case, it would be for the English people it would be the same because losing at home 4-0 is difficult to be accepted by the crowd, by the press, by everybody.

"But I think that Southgate already proved to be a quite good coach. He put together quite a strong team.

"Tonight everything went in the wrong way for them but, still, they are absolutely on the top level.

"They must only follow the track that they were doing until now, were following until now, because I'm convinced they will give to you a lot of joy in the next world championship. I am sure about that."

England sit bottom of group A3 and defeat to Italy in September would confirm relegation as they sit three points adrift of the European champions and four behind Germany, who they also face later this year.

England captain Harry Kane believes it is not time to panic for his side after Tuesday's 4-0 loss at home to Hungary in the Nations League.

The Three Lions were ripped apart as boos wrung out at the Molineux Stadium, with Roland Sallai's brace added to late by Zsolt Nagy and Daniel Gazdag, along with a red card for John Stones.

The loss keeps England bottom of Group A3, the only side in the group without a win after four games, with Kane's penalty against Germany the only goal they have scored in that time frame.

After the loss, the 28-year-old took exception to questions over Gareth Southgate's ability to move the team forward, coming into this year's World Cup.

"It's a really disappointing question to be asked. Let's not forget where we have come from," he told BBC Radio.

"Gareth has been a key part of transforming this England team to one of the most successful sides we have had in the past 50 years.

"I know it's disappointing for the fans. It has been a disappointing camp, every now and then football throws up a surprise, we have to look at the big picture. We've had two fantastic tournaments in a row. It's not the time to panic. It's a loss we're disappointed with but we need to stay calm and we know we have stuff to work on."

Southgate went with a third formation in four games as he tries to work an optimal composition for Qatar, with Jude Bellingham and Conor Gallagher joining Kalvin Phillips in midfield.

England's two best chances in open play came from headers despite 68.6 per cent of possession - Kane hitting the bar with his flicked effort - but Sallai's goal in transition was the effective sealer.

Stones' dismissal and another two goals for Hungary in transition punctuated a disappointing international window for England, who have struggled to translate possession into substance in front of goal.

Kane insisted England did create chances post-game but realisation in front of goal has been the main issue of this camp, and the cause of these results.

"First half I thought we created enough chances to score but that's kind of been the story of our Nations League so far in this camp," he told Channel 4.

"We haven't quite had the cutting edge and then second half, it's unacceptable, once we went 2-0 down to concede in the way we did. Look, we've not had a camp like it for a long, long time. It's no time to panic.

"It's time to keep our heads up, look forward to the break now and come back stronger in September.

"Our defence has been the structure of our success over the last four, five years and it was a night to forget, of course. We've got to take it on the chin and move forward. End of the day we're going to prepare for what's going to be a big World Cup and that's the most important thing."

Gareth Southgate took full responsibility for England's 4-0 humiliation by Hungary in the Nations League on Tuesday.

The Three Lions were embarrassed by their visitors at Molineux, paying the price for an abysmal performance that was in keeping with – but altogether worse than – their other disappointing displays this month, which have left England bottom of Group A3 with just two points.

It was England's worst home defeat in 94 years and stretched their winless streak to four, their longest such run since June 2014.

Roland Sallai put Hungary in front early on, but it was not until the latter stages that England's humiliation truly took shape.

Sallai got another in the 70th minute, and that was followed up by Zsolt Nagy's fierce effort and a delicate Daniel Gazdag chip either side of a controversial second yellow card for John Stones.

Defeat in their next game against Italy in September will ensure England are relegated from the top tier of the Nations League, and Southgate fronted up to his mistakes.

"We picked a young team with energy, and when the game started to go against them it started to look that way [that it was a young team], and that's my responsibility in the end," Southgate told Channel 4.

"I felt at half-time we needed to go for the game, we made changes that gave us a bit more attacking impetus but then we were more open as well, and in the end you're pushing with so many attacking players, that left us wide open.

"I just said to the players there, across the four matches that's my responsibility. I tried to balance looking at new players, tried to rest players, we couldn't keep flogging our more experienced and better players, and in the end the teams I've selected haven't been strong enough to get the results in the two Hungary games really.

"I think the other two performances [against Italy and Germany] have been more positive than perhaps the reaction to them, but I understand tonight is a chastening experience."

Southgate has been a largely popular figure during his reign, but England fans turned on him towards the end of the contest as they chanted "you don't know what you're doing".

Asked if he understood the flak directed towards him, Southgate said: "Of course, in the end this is about winning matches with England, tonight was a night like many of my predecessors have had and experienced, and it's difficult to stand here… I'm not going to say it doesn't hurt, but it's very clear to me what we're trying to do across these four matches.

"The irony is, the two Nations League campaigns are arguably the ones that have heaped negativity and pressure on to us, and you wouldn't normally have that [the Nations League] as an England manager.

"I've got to go with that. I've got to protect the players. They've been exceptional in their attitude, they've never stopped. The results are my responsibility."

But while he claimed to understand the perspective of unhappy fans, he also reminded supporters of his team's past achievements.

"Hungary are a good side, we knew that, and as I said, I think I've given too much for them [England's young players] to do tonight in the end, and I understand the reaction to that in the stadium," he added.

"What I would say is, this group of players has been unbelievable for the country and it's important people stay with them because they're still going to be very strong moving forward."

 

England have set plenty of positive records under Gareth Southgate but, against Hungary, the tables were turned on the Three Lions.

Southgate's team – runners up at Euro 2020 last year – were hammered 4-0 in Wolverhampton in a shock result.

England have collected just two points from their four Nations League matches so far and sit bottom of Group A3.

While fatigue after a gruelling season has played its part in underwhelming displays, it is not the form that Southgate will be content with ahead of this year's World Cup.

With the help of Opta data, Stats Perform has picked out some of the most prominent statistics from one of England's most surprising defeats.

1928 - England have lost a home match by four goals for the first time since March 1928, when they went down 5-1 to rivals Scotland.

2 - Hungary, meanwhile, have become only the second team to beat Southgate's England in consecutive matches, after Belgium did so at the 2018 World Cup.

4 - They are the only team to score four goals in an away match against England since the Hungarians themselves triumphed 6-3 at Wembley Stadium way back in 1953.

1964 - Not since 1964 had England lost by four or more goals. On that occasion, in May of that year, they were defeated 5-1 by Brazil in a friendly. On only one other occasion have the Three Lions lost by at least four goals without scoring, when they slumped to a 5-0 defeat to Yugoslavia in 1958, but that was away from home.

0 - England have failed to win any of their four games this month (D2 L2). Only June 2014, in the build-up to and during the Brazil World Cup, have England played more matches without winning (five).

3 - Roland Sallai is only the second player to have scored as many as three goals against England this century, along with Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic (five), and is the first Hungary player to score twice in an away game against England since both Ferenc Puskas (two) and Nandor Hidegkuti (three) did so in that 6-3 win at Wembley in 1953.

1 - Jarrod Bowen is the first player not to end up on the winning side in any of his first four England appearances (D2 L2) since Ledley King between 2002 and 2004 (also D2 L2).

England are in real danger of suffering Nations League relegation after they succumbed to an abysmal 4-0 defeat at home to a ruthless Hungary on Tuesday.

Gareth Southgate's side had been underwhelming in each of their first three matches, but they were somehow even worse for the visit of Hungary, who completed an incredible double over the Three Lions.

An early defensive error gifted Hungary the lead as Roland Sallai duly punished the hosts, and although England unsurprisingly saw more of the ball, the recent theme of attacking ineffectiveness continued.

The Three Lions hardly troubled Hungary goalkeeper Denes Dibusz at all before Sallai got his second 20 minutes from time at Molineux.

It then got even uglier for England, as Zsolt Nagy and Daniel Gazdag scored either side of John Stones' red card to inflict the Three Lions' worst home defeat since 1928.

Despite England enjoying a positive start, they found themselves trailing in the 16th minute as Stones inadvertently headed back into the danger area and Sallai was on hand to smash past Aaron Ramsdale.

The hosts appeared to up the ante after the break, but it was not a precursor to a marked improvement.

The game was put beyond them with 70 minutes on the clock, as Martin Adam pounced on a Kalvin Phillips mistake before feeding Sallai, who shot through Ramsdale's legs.

And things got worse still.

Harry Kane's header hit the crossbar, and soon after it was 3-0, as Nagy slammed in from 25 yards.

England's misery was compounded by a harsh second yellow card for Stones after an off-the-ball collision, and Hungary completed their humiliation thanks to a cheeky chip by Gazdag.

Harry Kane says the arrivals of Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez in the Premier League will drive him to improve in an enticing Golden Boot race.

Kane has won three Golden Boot awards in the English top flight – in 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2020-21 – and managed 17 goals this season as Tottenham qualified for the Champions League.

Spurs team-mate Son Heung-min shared the accolade for the most Premier League goals with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah this season, the pair scoring 23 goals each.

Jurgen Klopp looks set to add more firepower to his attack at Anfield, with Nunez close to joining Liverpool for an initial fee of £64million (€75m) from Benfica.

Nunez has scored 48 goals in 85 games for Benfica in all competitions and averaged 1.2 goals every 90 minutes in the Portuguese Primeira Liga last season.

Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola bolstered his own wealth of attacking options with the Premier League champions Manchester City by triggering Haaland's release clause at Borussia Dortmund.

The Norway international scored 86 goals in 89 games for Dortmund since joining from Salzburg in January 2020, averaging a goal every 84 minutes across all competitions.

Kane cannot wait to compete with the duo next season as the Premier League adds more talismanic talent to their ranks.

 

"Look, I think the battle for the Golden Boot is always tough," Kane said at a pre-match news conference while on Nations League duty with England on Monday. 

"The Premier League has produced some top strikers around the world for a number of years now.

"I think every season I've been playing it's always been a tough battle to win that Golden Boot and it's no different.

"You expect the top strikers to want to play in the Premier League and with those two new signings, that's gonna be the case.

"I think it helps me as a player to have good competition, it drives me to improve and get better. I look forward to the challenge."

The build-up to Kane's 2021-22 campaign was filled with distraction as City tried and failed to secure the services of the England striker, attempting to replace the void left by Sergio Aguero at the Etihad Stadium.

Kane will likely have a smoother pre-season this time around and will look to utilise that to prepare for another campaign under Spurs head coach Antonio Conte.

 

"I try and focus on myself to begin with. Going into any season I have things I want to achieve and goals I want to reach," he added.

"I try not to focus too much on other players in that aspect, I can't control what they do.

"But what I will do is continue to work hard and improve and after this game have a nice break but then look forward to what will be a tough pre-season.

"And then I'll get ready for the new season as I have done for the last seven, eight years now."

Germany were held to their third consecutive 1-1 draw in the Nations League as Hungary earned a point at the Puskas Arena on Saturday.

An early goal from Zsolt Nagy was quickly cancelled out by Jonas Hofmann, but the visitors were unable to find a winner despite dominating the ball.

Hansi Flick's men looked devoid of ideas for the most part and remain third in Nations League Group A3 behind Hungary and Italy.

Marco Rossi's team could be pleased with their night's work, on the other hand, and could consider themselves unfortunate not to have taken all three points.

A strong start for Hungary was rewarded as they took the lead after just six minutes when a long ball down the right found the run of Attila Fiola. His cross was headed at goal by Roland Sallai, and Manuel Neuer palmed the ball only as far as Nagy, who controlled before firing into the roof of the net.

However, Germany were level just three minutes later as Hofmann ran onto a long ball from Nico Schlotterbeck to prod past the onrushing Peter Gulacsi and net his second goal in his past two games for his country.

Clever play from Jamal Musiala helped create an opportunity for David Raum to cut inside and bend an effort just wide of Gulacsi's far post, before Neuer saved a Fiola volley well with his leg just before the break.

The second half was largely spent in the Hungarian half, but Germany created very little until Kai Havertz played Hofmann in on goal with just under 20 minutes to play, only for the goalscorer to make a mess of his attempted pass to Timo Werner, allowing Willi Orban to clear.

Substitute Daniel Gazdag forced Neuer into another good save in the final 10 minutes, but both teams were made to settle for a point.

England manager Gareth Southgate highlighted the pressures that come with such a high-profile role, and implied there will be some changes to the starting-11 in the next couple of Nations League games.

The Three Lions are coming off a 1-1 draw away against Germany, and will now prepare for fixtures against Italy on Saturday, and Hungary on Tuesday.

Harry Kane netted his 50th international goal in that last fixture, and while he is clearly the first-choice striker, the rest of the team is relatively unsettled.

England is currently sitting last in the Nations League's League A Group 3, and Southgate insisted there will be some experimentation as they try to find their optimal starting group ahead of the World Cup.

"You have seen right across Europe – France changed 10, Spain changed eight, Portugal changed seven," he said.

"This is quite a unique set of games where teams are thinking about player welfare to a degree, freshness, but also they are preparing for a World Cup, because they know what’s coming and what they haven’t got in terms of friendlies ahead of the tournament.

“Harry [Kane] is… a phenomenal professional, the way he looks after himself. I’m not saying he’s going to get his desire to start all four games, by the way, because there’s also Tammy [Abraham] that we want to see perform as well."

Southgate went on to discuss how demanding of a role he has, and that it feels like "you have got to win every match".

"I know what I wanted from these games," he said. "I also accept that with England, you’re going to be judged, and you have got to win every match.

"But I’ve got to think a little bit differently to that and accept that if there is criticism, fine. 

"I have got to make the right decisions for the players, for the team, to try to improve the team and if that means criticism, then so be it. 

"If my decision-making is affected by that, then it’s something I am not going to be successful with."

Gianluigi Donnarumma admitted he was left "speechless" after leading Italy to victory over Hungary in the Nations League. 

Goals from Nicolo Barella and Lorenzo Pellegrini helped the Azzurri prevail 2-1 at Dino Manuzzi on Tuesday.

Gianluca Mancini's own-goal set up a nervous finish in Cesena, but the reigning European champions held out for maximum points in the Group A3 encounter.

Once again, Roberto Mancini handed the captain's armband to Donnarumma, who shook off an injury to his finger to take his place between the sticks.

The Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper became Italy's youngest skipper since 1965 when he donned the armband against Belgium last October.

And following his nation's failure to qualify for the World Cup – as well as the commanding Finalissima defeat to Argentina earlier this month – the 23-year-old has been pleased with the response of Mancini's youthful squad.

"We knew that we had to change and restart with young players after a difficult period," Donnarumma said.

"They [the youngsters] came here with the right spirit knowing that you have to do everything you can for this shirt.

"The captain's armband is an indescribable emotion, wearing the number one shirt and the armband is something that leaves you speechless. 

"For this shirt, I would play even without a finger, I have to thank the medical staff who helped me a lot; with my desire and their help, I was able to play tonight. 

"For me, this shirt is incredible and I will play as long as I can with this shirt."

Italy displaced Hungary at the top of Group A3 with four points from their opening two games.

As a result, Mancini believes his players can carry plenty of belief as the campaign continues against England later this week. 

"We played a good game, especially in the first half,” the head coach added.

"Their goal, however, created us some fear and pressure in a game we should have won with a bigger margin of goals. Both teams were a bit tired at the end.

"We are playing with several youngsters and we are aware that we have plenty of work to do, the road is still long. 

"We can go forward with confidence, however, because we played two good games against difficult teams in Germany and Hungary."

Italy registered their first victory of the new Nations League campaign by beating Hungary 2-1 at Stadio Dino Manuzzi.

First-half goals from Nicolo Barella and Lorenzo Pellegrini sealed the points for Roberto Mancini’s side in the Group A3 encounter in Cesena on Tuesday.

Hungary pulled one back after the break when Gianluca Mancini put through his own net, but Marco Rossi’s men were unable to build on their impressive victory over England on Saturday.

The European champions, who failed to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar, held on for only their second victory from seven matches in what was the first meeting between the nations since August 2007.

Italy made a strong start as Mancini twice met Matteo Politano corners, but was denied by Denes Dibusz on both occasions. Gianluigi Donnarumma then got down well to block Roland Sallai’s fierce strike at the other end.

Dibusz was helpless as Italy broke through on the half-hour mark; Barella receiving the ball from Leonardo Spinazzola before firing into the top corner from 25 yards out.

The hosts doubled their lead just before the break, when Politano's square ball was swept home by Pellegrini at the far post.

Politano went close to adding a third within 10 minutes of the restart, rattling the crossbar from 20 yards out moments after Donnarumma kept out Sallai's volley.

Mancini gave Hungary hope in the 61st minute when he diverted Attila Fiola's centre into his own net.

Sallai and Willi Orban also drew smart saves out of Donnarumma, but Italy were not to be denied all three points.

Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan promised to support England and take the knee on Tuesday after Hungary fans jeered the action on Saturday.

England fell to a surprise 1-0 defeat in their Nations League Group A3 opener after Dominik Szoboszlai's second-half penalty at the Puskas Arena, the same Budapest venue where some England players were subjected to racial abuse in September.

Hungary were supposed to play the fixture behind closed doors after racist behaviour at Euro 2020 last year, but children accompanied by some adults were allowed to attend as a crowd of 35,000 watched on.

There were boos when England players took the knee prior to kick-off, with Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate subsequently expressing his confusion and dismay at the pre-match response.

"The first thing is that is why we do it [take the knee], to try to educate people around the world. I have no idea why people would choose to boo that gesture," Southgate told Channel 4 after the game.

England next head to Germany, who played out a 1-1 draw with Italy in their opener, and Gundogan vowed to support his opponents by taking the knee.

"We will go down on our knees together with the English because we want to support this whole initiative," Gundogan told reporters at Monday's pre-match news conference.

"We did this last year at the Euros and, of course, we will do it tomorrow too. I'm used to that from the English league, where we do it almost every match, so it's nothing new for me.

"We talked about it inside the team and we will support the opponent."

Gareth Southgate was perplexed as to why Hungarian children booed England players when they took the knee before the Three Lions' shock Nations League defeat on Saturday.

Dominik Szoboszlai's second-half penalty gave Hungary a shock 1-0 victory at the Puskas Arena.

The League A Group 3 game was supposed to be played behind closed doors as punishment for racist behaviour in the same stadium during Euro 2020 last year.

Yet children were allowed to attend the game and a crowd of 35,000 watched England's record 22-game unbeaten run come to an end in Budapest.

There were boos when England players took the knee prior to kick-off in the same stadium where some of Southgate's players were subjected to racist abuse during a World Cup qualifier in September.

England manager Southgate told Channel 4: "The first thing is that is why we do it [take the knee], to try to educate people around the world. I have no idea why people would choose to boo that gesture.

"I think very often, young people especially, they can't know why they are doing it really, so they are being influenced by older adults. The UEFA decision [to allow people into the ground], that is for other people to decide.

"I think we've made our stand as a team, everybody knows what we believe and what we stand for. I think tonight, I've got to focus on the football. When you lose, you can't be talking too much about other areas because I think that would be a lack of responsibility for the result."

Southgate said there could be no excuse for a substandard display from England, although he questioned referee Artur Dias' decision to award Hungary a penalty when Reece James was adjudged to have fouled Zsolt Nagy.

"We have to accept that we did not do enough to win the game, a draw would have been the fair outcome," he said. "We did not create too many clear-cut chances and the actual result hinged on a decision which is harsh but probably won't be overturned.

"Once it has been given as a penalty, he probably will not overturn it. You see challenges like that in the box, Reece James puts his body between the ball and the forward makes a meal of it. Away from home sometimes you will get those calls.

"It has [been a long season], but the heat was a factor and took a lot out of the players, and we tried to refresh the team earlier than normal.

"The balance of finding out about new things and the consistency of the regular team, I have to look at whether I got that right.

"I don't want to be too harsh on them, these are games where we need to learn from. They are bitterly disappointed because we want to keep winning matches. If we want to be a team right at the top tier of football, we need to come here and win."

Page 1 of 5
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.