Gareth Southgate urges England fans to keep undue pressure off young Three Lions at World Cup
Posted: 6 October 2017 Time: 14:33
England manager Gareth Southgate has urged the team’s supporters to allow the players to enter the 2018 World Cup without the pressure of a nation on their shoulders.
A youthful Three Lions squad secured their place in next year’s Russia finals thanks to Harry Kane’s late striker against Slovenia at Wembley on Thursday.
The result saw England qualify for the showpiece event with a game to spare, giving the country’s fans plenty to be optimistic about, but Southgate hopes that does not turn to undue pressure when the side get their World Cup campaign underway.
"As a young team, what they are having to deal with in terms of expectation and criticism of their performances, it is tough for them," Southgate said. "They are young players we have to try to get behind.
"They are giving absolutely everything they have got. They don't have Champions League-winning medals throughout this group, they don't have Premier League-winning medals. They are a work in progress.
"But they will give everything they've got for the shirt and they are going to improve over the next few years. They are suffering a little bit from the consequence of the last 25 or 30 years.
“That isn't their fault so we have to give them the belief and the backing to achieve."