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Gareth Southgate slams “ridiculous” Harry Maguire comments

England manager Gareth Southgate has criticised the poor treatment of Harry Maguire from fans and the media despite a 3-1 win over bitter rivals Scotland last night.

Maguire came on as a second-half substitute for Marc Guéhi and scored an own goal within 20 minutes of being on the pitch. Despite England being in control and winning the game comfortably, the defender’s own goal is a big talking point for England fans.

Despite his 59 caps for England and important performances in three major tournaments now for his country, critics still threat Maguire the same way.

However, Gareth Southgate was quick to defend Maguire and slam his critics after the Scotland game.

“I’ve never known a player treated the way he is,”

“He’s been an absolute stalwart for us in the second most successful England team for decades – he’s been an absolutely key part of that.”

“I’ve talked about the importance of our senior players, he’s been crucial among that.”

“Every time he goes on the field, the resilience he shows is absolutely incredible. He’s a top player and we’re all with him and our fans were brilliant with him.”

Maguire was mocked by the home fans after scoring the own goal. Every touch of the ball from the ex-Manchester United captain was met with a loud cheer from the Scotland support.

Southgate was also critical of the media and said: “It’s a joke. Not by the Scottish fans but by our own commentators, pundits or whatever it is. They’ve created something that’s beyond anything I have ever seen.”

“I think our fans recognised, ‘OK there might be a bit of heat from our own supporters but we’re not going to have others getting into him’.”

Many fans and pundits believe that Maguire should not be in the England team despite Southgate’s passionate defence of the centre-back.

His lack of game time at club level and poor form in recent times are the main reasons for this.

Maguire has not started a game this season at club level and his only appearance came as a second-half substitute against Arsenal on September 3rd, a game in which they went on to lose 3-1.

Despite his critics, Maguire was praised by Gareth Southgate for his brave character.

“He’s gone and spoken to the media as that’s the sort of lad he is,” added Southgate. “He’s fronted up as he always does, again enormous credit to his character.”

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