'It's a joke!' - Gareth Southgate fumes at 'ridiculous' Harry Maguire treatment in passionate defence of Man Utd outcast after his own goal clanger for England

  • Southgate defends Maguire
  • Maguire scored an own goal against Scotland
  • England beat Scotland 3-1

WHAT HAPPENED? England completely dominated their 150th-anniversary fixture against rivals Scotland on Tuesday but for a moment Maguire's 67-minute own goal had given the hosts a glimmer of hope to stage a comeback, after goals from Phil Foden and Jude Bellingham. Harry Kane sealed the win for the Three Lions with an 81st-minute strike.

Despite his own goal, England manager Southgate came to Maguire's defence and slammed his critics for the way they treat the out-of-favour Manchester United defender.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to reporters after the game, Southgate said: "From a Scotland fan’s point of view I get it. I have absolutely no complaints with what they did. It is a consequence of the ridiculous treatment of him for a long period of time, frankly, and I think our fans recognised, ‘ok there might be a bit of heat from our own supporters but we are not going to have it from others getting into him.’ But it is a joke. I have never known a player to be treated the way he is. Not from the Scottish fans – by our own commentators, pundits, whatever it is, they have created something that is beyond anything I have ever seen.

"He has been an absolute stalwart for us in the second most successful English team for decades, he has been an absolutely key part of that. I have talked about the importance of our senior players, he has been crucial amongst that and every time he goes on the field the resilience he shows, the balls he shows is absolutely incredible so he is a top player and we are all with him. Our fans were brilliant with him tonight. I feel fairly strongly about it."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: When asked about Maguire's mental state after all the criticism, Southgate replied: "He is good, he is great, we have had a good win and he was a big part of that. He has fronted up as he always does which is enormous credit to his character."


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WHAT NEXT? Maguire could be next seen in action for the Red Devils when they face Brighton in the Premier League on Saturday.