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Southgate confirms he had coronavirus after Piers Morgan criticism of England manager

08:29 GMT 16/11/2020
Gareth Southgate Piers Morgan
The Three Lions head coach confirmed reports of a positive Covid-19 test following his side's defeat to Belgium

England manager Gareth Southgate has confirmed that he had coronavirus last month after being criticised by Piers Morgan.

Reports emerged prior to Sunday's 2-0 Nations League loss to Belgium that Southgate had tested positive for Covid-19.

Good Morning Britain host and journalist Piers Morgan reacted angrily to the news having come into contact with the 50-year-old in October, as he posted the following message on Twitter : "Hmmmm... England manager Gareth Southgate reportedly tested positive for Covid-19 on Oct 25.

"I was chatting with him on Oct 22 at ⁦GQ Heroes event, with the magazine’s editors.

"He didn’t tell any of us he tested positive 3 days later. If dates are correct, that’s disgraceful."

After England's hopes of reaching the Nations League Finals were ended by Group A2 leaders Belgium, Southgate revealed the positive coronavirus test.

"I did have the virus," Southgate told reporters. "I was fortunate it was not as serious as so many people in our country but not pleasant, not something you'd choose to have but everything is fine now."

Southgate's England needed at least a draw to ensure their chances of topping Group A2 remained alive going into their final game against Iceland.

However, first-half goals from Youri Tielemans and Dries Mertens put Belgium on track for a win that leaves them needing just a point in their final group game against Denmark to reach the Finals.

It was England's 10th defeat in 48 matches under Southgate – making him the first manager to lose 10 games with the Three Lions since Sven-Goran Eriksson, who lost 10 of his 67 fixtures in charge.

England also suffered back-to-back competitive international losses for the first time since tasting three consecutive defeats between July and September 2018.

The Three Lions, who reached the inaugural Nations League finals last year only to lose to the Netherlands at the last-four stage, will have to beat Iceland and hope that Denmark lose heavily to Belgium in order to secure second place in their group, with their final fixture set to take place at Wembley on Wednesday.