Gareth Southgate said yesterday he knew he would suffer stinging criticism at some stage of his tenure as England manager, but he remains confident the Three Lions will turn their form around in time for the World Cup.
England have been relegated from the top tier of the Nations League after failing to win any of their first five games in Group A3.
Southgate was booed by the travelling support after a 1-0 loss to Italy in Milan on Friday, which stretched England’s run without scoring from open play to 495 minutes.
“With the national team that noise is going to be even louder, and more widespread and I totally understand that, I’m not hiding from that,” Southgate said at his pre-match press conference ahead of Germany’s trip to Wembley today.
“It’s a situation that we aren’t enjoying, not winning football matches. But we have to keep doing the right things every day, to keep improving small bits of our performances that can make a difference.
“If we approach every day in that manner and keep the standards high, and performances come, then eventually results will turn.”
Southgate has some credit in the bank after surpassing expectations to lead England to the semi-finals of the last World Cup and then a first major tournament final for 55 years at Euro 2020.
He was also credited with helping form a bond between his players and the England support and media. But having experienced the criticism faced by his managers when an England player, Southgate said he has been prepared for what could come his way if his side fail to perform in Qatar.
“This will be my seventh (major tournament) as a player or a coach,” he added.
Today is England’s final game before their World Cup campaign kicks off against Iran on November 21.