England boss Gareth Southgate has come to Harry Maguire's defence after the defender was booed by some of the team's own fans during their clash against Ivory Coast at Wembley Stadium.
Having endured a tough season at club level so far, the Manchester United captain's woes have seemingly continued on the international stage after he was jeered at by supporters during the Three Lions' 3-0 thrashing of the Elephants on Tuesday night.
Maguire played the full match and helped his nation keep a clean sheet, but was still met with a poor reception from the home crowd, perhaps due to his questionable form since the beginning of the 2021/22 campaign.
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According to the Daily Mail, the 29-year-old was first booed at before kick-off, and the treatment only got worse once the game began as almost every time he touched the ball, some sections of the crowd would taunt the centre-back.
A number of Maguire's teammates have since jumped to his defence, while Three Lions boss Southgate was left angry and disappointed with what unfolded, labelling the situation "an absolute joke".
"I thought the reception was a joke, an absolute joke," he said after the match.
"The way he [Maguire] has performed for us has been absolutely phenomenal. I don't get it. We're either all in this together or we're not.
"He's in an England shirt and not only should you support a player in an England shirt regardless, but when you've played at the level he has for us and put the performances in he has, it should be total commitment behind him.
"I don't get it at all. His performance was pretty faultless, really. He stepped out from the back really well for the first goal, was involved in the second one too. So, yeah. The team are totally united.
"We recognise everyone has difficult moments but he's a top player and he will come through it.
"They are real England fans and some are influenced by whatever, social media or players that played previously who are influencing opinion. The club situation is obviously very difficult but he's in an England shirt.
"I remember decades ago a few players being booed in an England shirt and it's never been acceptable to me. Fans should always get behind their team."
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