HARRY MAGUIRE has planned the referee’s performance after England’s World Cup defeat by France.
The Three Lions lost 2-1 to the world champions in Qatar in a hard-fought game and may struggle with some refereeing decisions.
In preparation for France’s opener by Aurelien Tchouameni, Gareth Southgate’s side felt they should have had a free-kick against Bukayo Saka.
There was a penalty call later in the first half, which was checked by VAR after Harry Kane appeared to have stumbled – but nothing was given.
After the game, Man Utd star Maguire questioned the performance of Brazil referee Wilton Sampaio.
He said: “I can’t really explain his performance – the number of decisions he got wrong was really incredible. Really bad.”
Despite their elimination, Kane and co were the better team in the competition.
And Maguire believes England have shown they are a more consistent major tournament side.
Maguire continued: “I’m really proud of the boys, we gave it our all. This is tournament football with big moments, winning big games. And I felt like we were the better team all night, we controlled the game from the first minute, hit from 30 yards and was clinical with the second.
“We had a lot of chances and dominated possession. We’ve shown over a four or five year period that we belong in these big games.
“The boys will be hurt and disappointed, but I truly believe that this country has turned the tide and we belong on this stage, in the late stages of these knockout tournaments.
“If we can take something away from the game, that shows our performance.”
France may have entered the game as slight favourites, but Maguire showed England’s camp were confident they could have won the tournament to the end.
He said: “We really believed that we were going to win the game. We had a lot of belief in our dressing room that we were going to win the tournament and that’s not arrogance.”
“We had started to control games, which we hadn’t done in the past, so we had a great opportunity to win the tournament. It really hurts, but these players will get another opportunity.”
Following the defeat, boss Southgate’s future has become a topic of conversation and whether he will continue in his role.
He’s come under a lot of pressure for his picks in the past but Maguire said Maguire has the support of his players.
“From one to eleven players absolutely love Gareth. He was great with each and every one of us,” he said.
“I know a lot of people have different opinions and when he chooses his team he gets a lot of pressure but you can see how far this team has come in his time as manager.
“He knows what it takes to win these big games. The performance was there, but we lacked the clinic a bit.”
England will feel badly done after being eliminated from the competition.
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After equalizing in the second half from a Kane penalty, they fell behind to Olivier Giroud’s header.
Kane had an opportunity to score late from the point to potentially put the game into overtime, but he shot over from 12 yards and England’s hopes were dashed.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6889401/england-harry-maguire-world-cup-referee/ Harry Maguire slams the ‘really bad’ referee for England’s World Cup KO and bemoans ‘an incredible number of wrong decisions’