Gareth Southgate has blamed people “in our own country” for the mocking Harry Maguire received at the hands of Scotland fans.
The England manager launched a staunch defence of the Manchester United defender after his every pass was jeered by home fans during last night’s friendly after he came on as a substitute in the second half
Matters were made worse when the 30-year-old scored an own goal in the 67th minute.
The error was a blemish on what was ultimately an impressive 3-1 win for England at Hampden Park – but Southgate was clearly irked by the treatment of his player.
England’s Harry Maguire scored an own goal against Scotland
Speaking to Sky Sports News, the England boss said: “We’re now in a situation where, because of people in our own country, the opposition think they can have fun with him. What’s that about?
“He’s been an incredible player for England in one of the most successful teams we’ve had – critical for what we’ve been doing.
“We allow him to be open to that? It’s a joke; an absolute joke. It makes me livid.”
Sky Sports News reporter Rob Dorsett says Maguire has “become a caricature of calamity in a lot of people’s eyes in and around football”, which prompted the England manager to leap to his defence.
England beat Scotland comfortably away from home. Pic: Jane Barlow/PA
“Thankfully he’s got the support of the dressing room and the people behind him. I thought the England fans in the stadium tonight were absolutely brilliant.
La Liga sponsors Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndropwllllantysiliogogogoch FC
Southgate comments on Rubiales kiss controversy
“I’ve no problem with the Scotland fans – they’re having fun. But what stirs that up is people in our own country. Other players will think: ‘Is that what awaits us?’
“Great credit to him that he managed to show the composure with the ball, keep the ball and put that moment behind him.”
Criticism had already been levelled at Southgate going into the international break after he selected Maguire despite the centre-back failing to start a league game for Manchester United so far this season.