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Being beaten by Hungary is unacceptable… but Southgate can win the World Cup for England, says Harry Maguire

HARRY MAGUIRE has come out to fight for under-fire England boss Gareth Southgate.

The Manchester United captain told SunSport the 4-0 home defeat by Hungary was “unacceptable” as some fans and pundits called for Southgate’s sacking.

Defender Harry Maguire is backing the under-fire Gareth Southgate to lead England to a serious World Cup challenge this winter

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Defender Harry Maguire is backing the under-fire Gareth Southgate to lead England to a serious World Cup challenge this winterPhoto credit: Getty
Jude Bellingham and Marc Guehi followed by Kalvin Phillips look stunned after Hungary won 4-0 at Molineux

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Jude Bellingham and Marc Guehi followed by Kalvin Phillips look stunned after Hungary won 4-0 at MolineuxPhoto credit: Getty

But centre-back Maguire, 29, who came on as a substitute in Tuesday’s defeat, claims the Three Lions are still going in the right direction.

Maguire said: “Gareth is the most successful England manager since Sir Alf Ramsey in 1966. We all can’t wait to work with him and the backroom team again at the World Cup.

“His leadership record is as good as anyone else 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.”

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In a disastrous end to the season, England are bottom of the Nations League after four games.

The Three Lions have lost to Hungary twice and drawn both Germany and Italy.

Southgate’s side have just two games against Germany and Italy in September ahead of their World Cup opener in Qatar against Iran on November 21.

Maguire said: “We earned more in the first three games but on Tuesday against Hungary that wasn’t acceptable.

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“We all know that. Everyone needs a break and new strength now. Despite the results, the atmosphere in the camp was great.”

The centre-back has been a target of fan anger for both United and England.

There was scorn when he replaced Bukayo Saka at Molineux in the 85th minute, the substitution being made after fellow defender John Stones was sent off.

Asked about the negative reaction from angry supporters, Southgate said: “To be fair, that was directed at me. I eliminated an attacker and we lost three to zero.

“I eliminated an attacker and deployed a defender.

Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate insists he knows what went wrong

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Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate insists he knows what went wrongPhoto credit: Getty
Bukayo Saka and company have been brought back down to earth by England's somber Nations League campaign over the past week

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Bukayo Saka and company have been brought back down to earth by England’s somber Nations League campaign over the past weekPhoto credit: Getty

“But at that point we had to solidify, we were disjointed. We were at ten. There’s no way you’re going to win the game.

“And you have to try to protect the players on the pitch.

“So I didn’t take that as a criticism of Harry. He actually had three really strong performances with us. He’s made a real step forward in how he’s going to feel when he leaves this camp.”

Southgate, who has signed a new contract keeping him in the job until 2024, has the FA’s full support. And obviously the Three Lions boss has the support of his players.

He said: “I can’t relate to the players now.

“They need a break, they need to get away, clear their minds.

“Some of them weren’t really in good shape to play. But everyone wanted to be there to support each other. And so everything regarding the defeat against Hungary has to come to me and not to her.”

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/football/premier-league/5571482/maguire-backs-southgate-england-win-world-cup/ Being beaten by Hungary is unacceptable… but Southgate can win the World Cup for England, says Harry Maguire

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