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Euro 2024: Gareth Southgate says fans’ reactions creating “unusual environment”

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England’s performance against Denmark in their second group game was widely criticised by pundits, with captain Harry Kane calling for more positivity from the media in the build-up to Slovenia, and saying ex-players should remember how “tough” tournament football is.

Social media video from inside Cologne Stadium appeared to show some England fans swearing towards Southgate, then arguing with other supporters who felt they should be getting behind the team and the manager.

Southgate gave several post-match interviews to individual broadcasters before holding a news conference.

He told beIN Sports that “the reaction to everything” was creating “an incredible environment” and the “players are feeling that”.

“I’ve lived in this environment for 20 years as a player and coach. We’ve got to keep ourselves on track and make sure the dressing room is tight.”

In his news conference later, Southgate added: “We have made England over the last three or four years fun again. I think it has been enjoyable for the players and we have got to be very, very careful that it stays that way.”

Southgate also revealed the responses from some supporters are “causing an issue for the group” and urged them to back the players.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I was not going to back away from going over to thank people for coming and giving the support that they did, but I know that this is causing an issue for the group.

“I can deal with that but I need them to support the players.”

Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford conceded England have “not played our best” and coming under fire is understandable.

“No game is easy and we are going to come under criticism – we have to deal with that. We have finished top of the group and we have not played our best,” he added.

“We have got to keep a positive mindset and bring the positives. We know we weren’t perfect, but we didn’t get beat in three games.”

Kane added: “It was a difficult night but I think it was our best performance out of the three.”

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