Maguire rates England’s World Cup chances under Southgate after Hungary fiasco
England sit bottom of their Nations League group after losing against Hungary at Molineux but Harry Maguire still thinks the Three Lions are moving in the right direction
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Harry Maguire is adamant that England can win the World Cup later this year despite the Three Lions’ humiliating 4-0 defeat by Hungary in the Nations League.
Gareth Southgate’s side were thrashed by a team ranked 40th in the world thanks to a Roland Sallai’s brace and goals from Zsolt Nagy and Daniel Gazdag. This leaves the Three Lions bottom of Group A3 having picked up just two points from a possible 12 available.
It is a run of form that has understandably concerned England fans but Maguire insists the country must continue to back Southgate. The former Middlesbrough centre-back has come under increased criticism given the nature of recent performances, as well as the sub-par results.
But Maguire told The Sun : “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 managerial record is as good as anyone currently out there 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.”
The Manchester United star added: “We deserved more from the first three games but against Hungary on Tuesday wasn’t acceptable. We all know that. Everyone needs a break now and a recharge. The spirit in the camp has been great despite the results.”
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Like Southgate, Maguire has been hit with some criticism after enduring a poor campaign with United, with some supporters have calling him to be dropped as a Three Lions starter. He received some boos when he came on in the 85th minute against Hungary after John Stones was sent off.
Jeers followed at the final whistle and Southgate has responded to them. He said: “Yes of course [I can understand the boos]. In the end, this is about winning matches with England. Tonight was the sort of night that a lot of my predecessors have had and experienced, and it’s difficult.
“I’m not going to say it doesn’t hurt, but it’s very clear to me what we were trying to do across the four matches, and the irony is that the two Nations League campaigns have been the ones that have heaped negativity and pressure onto us. I’ve got to go with that and it’s my job to protect the players. The results are my responsibility.”