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."

Eddie Jones finds it laughable to hear Gareth Southgate coming in for heavy criticism after the England football team's poor Nations League results.

England rugby union head coach Jones says those rushing to judge Southgate's aptitude as boss of the Three Lions are showing they have short memories.

Southgate led England to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and to the Euro 2020 final, but two defeats to Hungary either side of draws with Germany and Italy have led to a backlash.

There has been a clamour among some impatient supporters for Southgate to be replaced before the World Cup gets under way in November.

Jones said he "100 per cent" understood the position in which Southgate finds himself, having faced flak himself over England's rugby results.

He also pointed to the upturn in English cricketing fortunes this month as another sign of how fickle England fans can be, with the team emerging from a desperate rut in the Test game and suddenly being hailed as world-beaters.

"I find English sport amusing in that way," Jones said.

"English cricket two weeks ago didn't know what they were doing, complete debacle. They win two Tests, and now where can they go? They can go to Australia and they can beat Australia in the Ashes with 10 men, they're that good now.

"And English football, they were the darlings, and they lose a couple of games and you can see their players are probably struggling after a hard season, and now they're the worst thing since sliced bread.

"So everyone takes a turn in the chair. We've had our turn in the chair, and hopefully we'll move to a chair on the more comfortable side now."

Jones and Southgate have previously met to exchange coaching ideas, and both will hope those pay off in the big tournaments that lie ahead.

England's rugby side suffered a dismal Six Nations at the start of the year and travel to face Australia in three Tests next month.

Speaking on BBC 5 Live Sport, Jones said his team were in a rebuilding process, with the focus on shaping a unit to be competitive at the Rugby World Cup next year in France.

"There's always criticism when you don't win – particularly when you're with England there's a lot of criticism – but we know we've got to go through the process of rebuilding the team and sometimes that's a bit uncomfortable," Jones said.

He said the Australia series was an "opportunity to create new history", but there will be a poignant reunion Down Under for Australian Jones, too.

"I haven't been back to Australia since 2019, so I get to see my mother, who's now 97, and she rang me this morning and said, 'Make sure you win'," Jones said. "So you can see where I get my competitive spirit from."

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 has no doubt Gareth Southgate understands what England require to be successful and launched a defence of his under-fire Three Lions boss.

England have failed to win any of their three Nations League matches in June after following up a 1-0 defeat to Hungary with a pair of draws against Germany and Italy.

Relegation from group A3 remains a threat for England – who have scored just one goal in those games – and preparation matches for the World Cup in Qatar are limited due to the mid-season placing for the competition, meaning Southgate's side have few opportunities to find rhythm before the tournament. 

Recent performances have led to increased question marks as to whether Southgate can get the most out of a wealth of attacking talent, and he himself insisted he would 'not outstay his welcome' in the role.

However, Kane has sprung to the defence of the man who led England to their first international final since 1966 last year, where the Three Lions lost in the final of Euro 2020 in a penalty shoot-out to Italy.

"I think we have been one of the most successful England teams in the past 50 years or so. So, I think we are definitely on the right track," he said ahead of Tuesday's clash with Hungary. 

"I can't speak highly enough of Gareth. Gareth is a fantastic manager; a fantastic person and we are all really looking forward to being with each other for another major tournament. 

"I had him with the 21s and then obviously since he's been with the senior team and I think he really understands what the England team needs to be successful."

Kane added: "I think if you look at where we were in 2016 compared to where we are now, we've made massive improvements and strides. We've knocked down a lot of hurdles in major tournaments by doing stuff an England team hasn't done for a long, long time. 

"We'll keep trying to improve and making the country proud. I think we've done that and we all have that major hunger and desire to win a major tournament. I think it's still a good possibility."

England manager Gareth Southgate has warned the Manchester United players missing from his current squad that they face a tough test to secure a spot for the World Cup in Qatar later this year. 

The Three Lions are preparing for their fourth Nations League match against Hungary on Tuesday, following a three-match winless streak that has seen them lose in Budapest before draws with Germany and Italy. 

Southgate's focus is already on fine-tuning his squad for the World Cup, which begins on November 21, and managing the "strange lead-in" to the finals that fall midway through the 2022-23 Premier League season. 

There are several notable absentees from Southgate’s ranks this month, including Manchester United trio Luke Shaw, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford, with Harry Maguire currently the only representative from United in the squad. 

When asked if United’s absence from the Champions League next season could result in their England contingent being fresher than some of their counterparts, Southgate declared "They've got a lot to do to get back in the squad." 

Shaw is currently sidelined through injury and has a clearer route back into Southgate's plans since Chelsea's Ben Chilwell is currently the only recognised left-back available, while Sancho and Rashford were both omitted due to poor form. 

With just one England camp before the World Cup, falling in September with the final two Nations League games against Germany and Italy, opportunities to break back into the squad will be limited and there is vast competition for a seat on the plane to Qatar. 

Rashford contributed four goals and two assists for United in the Premier League last season in 25 appearances, while Sancho's debut season at Old Trafford saw him net three goals and secure three assists in 29 league appearances. 

Southgate has until October 21 to submit a long list of players to FIFA, with the final squad expected to be announced three weeks later.

The 51-year-old, who has come under fire for his perceived cautious team selections, is hoping to work closely with clubs to monitor the fitness of his players early next season.

"Information sharing is pretty good medically and we get the performance data from the Premier League so you've got some markers," he said.

"But equally there's always an understanding that clubs that have big games might not want to share certain things too early if they've got players that might miss games. 

"In general we have decent relationships with the clubs on that stuff but there's always going to be a bit of an element of the unknown in that period."

Mason Mount insisted England have to improve in front of goal following their 0-0 draw at home to Italy in the Nations League on Saturday.

England sit bottom of Group 3 after Saturday's goalless draw at the Molineux Stadium, which was played behind closed doors after fan trouble during the Euro 2020 final between the two sides.

The Three Lions' only goal over these opening three games came via the penalty spot, with Harry Kane converting in the closing stages of their eventual 1-1 draw away to Germany.

According to Mount, the creation of chances would be more of an issue than their realisation but England still have to be able to capitalise after a second draw in three games.

"It is frustrating," he told Channel 4 post-match. "Obviously we want to win, we want to create chances and score goals. I probably should have done better with my chance, we had a few other chances, so it is something we need to look at.

"We have created chances but we should have done better with them. We are keeping clean sheets so it is something that is a positive but we need to keep working at it.

"We have had chances today and we probably should have scored, but sometimes you go through little periods where it is difficult. The only thing we can do is keep working hard in training, staying focused and look where we can improve. We have the players to do that, the talent and quality, just work at it."

Predominantly playing in an attacking three in Thomas Tuchel's 3-4-3 for Chelsea, Mount has seemingly found more freedom at international level as a conventional number 10.

Though deployed in a similar role to club level for their opening defeat to Hungary, England boss Gareth Southgate reverted to the 4-2-3-1, with the 23-year-old hinting he's more comfortable with the latter despite the result.

"I was in a 10 role so it gave me freedom to roam and find spaces, trying to link the midfield to the attacking boys," he said afterwards.

"I found myself in spaces to shoot a couple of time but did not to do well enough from my shot and it was too easy for the keeper. It is a difficult one to take because I feel we could have come away with more.

"We want to win every game, even if it is a friendly. We have looked at the last two games, felt confident in what we do but it is a tough one."

Gareth Southgate dismissed suggestions England's recent struggles are down to a conservative approach, instead ruing a lack of sharpness in the final third. 

England drew 0-0 with Italy on Saturday as the Three Lions were left rooted to the foot of their Nations League group with just two points from three games. 

Across the trio of matches played this month, England have scored just one goal – Harry Kane's penalty in the 1-1 draw with Germany. 

The Three Lions' performances have been widely criticised, and while they did create chances against the Azzurri, they were at times second best to a team undergoing something of a transformation. 

A common criticism of England throughout Southgate's time in charge has been that they lack an identity beyond their often pragmatic approach, but he did not want to entertain such an idea this time. 

Asked if he saw the performance as cautious, Southgate told Channel 4: "I don't see how you can really. 

"We tried to move the ball through a very good, well-organised team. We've got the ball into our forward players and we've given all of them a go, tried to refresh it because we know the state of the season we're at. 

"So, I think at the moment that little bit of sharpness in the final third isn't quite there, but I was pleased with the general performance." 

Tammy Abraham started in place of Kane in attack, with the Roma striker supported by Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount and Jack Grealish. 

While Sterling and Mount each managed three shots and Grealish laid on a game-high four key passes, Abraham mustered only two shots. 

One was a harmless off-target header and the other a wasteful finish after robbing Italy of possession inside their own area, as he scuffed wide of the right-hand post. 

Nevertheless, Southgate seemed encouraged by Abraham's display. 

"I said earlier in the week, we've been too reliant on Harry and Raheem for our goals," he continued. 

"Other players have got to step into that phase. A number of them do it for their clubs but at international level they've not managed to convert that. 

"So we've looked dangerous without getting the goals that are needed in the bigger games. 

"I thought Tammy was fine. I haven't seen that chance back from right at the start, but that's probably the one [England should have taken]. 

"We felt we needed to refresh the team when we did it [brought Abraham off] but I wasn't unhappy with Tammy's performance at all." 

England will hope to finally get their first win of their Nations League campaign on Tuesday when they host Hungary, to whom they lost in Budapest last weekend. 

Gareth Southgate says he "will not outstay" his welcome as England manager as he once again hit back at criticism over his team selections.

England reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2018, the final four of the Nations League in 2019 and were runners-up at last year's Euro 2020.

Yet despite that, there have been continued calls for Southgate to adopt a more attacking approach by fielding the likes of Jack Grealish and Trent Alexander-Arnold more often.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's Nations League clash with Italy at a behind-closed-doors Molineux, however, Southgate refuted the idea that he is not gung-ho enough. 

"I've got to find a balance because I don't want to sit and be defensive, but some people have managed teams and others haven't," he said. 

"Until you've managed teams, you have a different view of the game. 

"What's needed to win football matches are the sorts of things [Mason] Mount did on [Joshua] Kimmich that allows other things to happen. 

"For the man that comes and stands on the terrace and pays his money, I totally understand he wants to see a Grealish with a [Raheem] Sterling with a [Bukayo] Saka. 

"But you've got to have a balance of the team, this is top-level football."

 

Southgate was appointed permanent England boss in November 2016 and signed a new deal seven months ago that runs through until the end of 2024.

"I've got to manage in the way I see fit. I won't outstay my welcome but I think I can do a good job for the team, and I think we've done a good job for the team," he added. 

"I think we'll continue to improve the team, which we've done over a consistent period of time, and we're also developing young players that will leave England in a good place."

England followed up a 1-0 loss to Hungary with a 1-1 draw away at Germany in their opening two Nations League matches.

Only once before, between July and September 2018, have the Three Lions failed to win three in a row under Southgate.

Asked why he felt the need to bring up his future, Southgate said: "If you look back, I've always said it. 

"I am not going to be here forever, am I? There will be another England manager… that's how I have always felt about it. 

"The major part of that is how the players are. Do I still feel the players give everything and respond to what we do? Yes, I do."

Jack Grealish has "learned a huge amount" at Manchester City, according to England manager Gareth Southgate.

Grealish became the most expensive player in British football history last year when he moved to City from boyhood club Aston Villa for £100million, but only recorded 10 goal involvements in his first season at the Etihad Stadium (six goals, four assists).

He made 39 appearances in all competitions (31 starts) for Pep Guardiola's side, but did create more chances from open play (76) than every other City player apart from Kevin De Bruyne (94).

The 26-year-old came off the bench for England on Tuesday and impressed as the Three Lions were able to force a late 1-1 draw against Germany in Munich.

Speaking ahead of his team's next Nations League clash with Italy, Southgate told a news conference he has seen improvements in Grealish since his big money move to City, where he won the Premier League title.

"It's important for all of our players that they feel that they understand how we want to play," Southgate said. 

"We give them a structure and we prepare them for the games, but within that, with their own talents and their own, we want them to come out. That's what makes the difference in the games.

"Jack had a fabulous impact on the game when he came on [against Germany]. I know he enjoys his football with us, but he also enjoys his football with his club, so I think it's important to say that. He has learned a huge amount being part of a team that has won the Premier League, which is massively important to him.

"He's a player we love working with. He's got a great mentality, a great character and I think he is a really good guy to have around the group. He has that joy having a football at his feet, which adds so much when you see players in training every day."

England will face Italy in a rematch of the Euro 2020 final on Saturday, and Southgate said the fact the game will be played behind closed doors at Molineux thanks to a ban imposed by UEFA after crowd trouble at Wembley before last year's final is an "embarrassment".

"If it is an embarrassment, it is for England as a country," he said. "A lot of the people that caused the problems I'm not certain were football fans.

"We spoke enough about it, we spoke about it after the final and when the punishment was first given, what I will say is the vast majority of our fans who travelled to Germany on Tuesday behaved brilliantly, a big thank you to them because maybe people were thinking something different but there were a huge majority who were a credit."

The England boss is expected to rotate his team as he looks for his first win of the Nations League campaign, and Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse is hoping he can take his chance if he is one of those fringe players selected.

"The manager highlighted before about seeing certain types of players in different types of games and hopefully if that opportunity comes then it's a good opportunity for me to showcase what I can do against a high level of opposition," the free-kick specialist said. "It will be a good opportunity to hopefully get some minutes.

"Everybody here is in the squad because they perform well for their club - and you can see that in training. The level is so, so high and having missed out on the European Championship squad, that was a big hurdle for me to overcome.

"I see this as a new challenge now, a new opportunity and I think that has given me a bit more of an incentive heading into this World Cup announcement that I want to be there, I want to be part of this fantastic group and hopefully replicate the success we had."

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