England head coach Gareth Southgate has criticised the section of fans who booed Manchester United central defender Harry Maguire against the Ivory Coast.
Maguire, who is having a tough time at United at club level, was in action for England in the friendly international against the Ivory Coast at Wembley Stadium in London on Tuesday evening.
A section of the England fans booed when the former Leicester City centre-back’s name was read out before the game and then jeered him when he touched the ball.
Southgate told Sky Sports: “I thought the reception was a joke. An absolute joke. What he’s done for us and the way he has performed for England has been phenomenal. I don’t get it.
“We’re either all in this together or we’re not. He’s in an England shirt and not only should you support someone in an England shirt regardless but when he’s played at the level he has, it should be total commitment behind him. So, I don’t get it.
“He was pretty faultless, stepping out from the back for the first goal and was involved in the second goal. This team is totally united. We recognise people have difficult moments but he’s top player and will come through it.
“They are real England fans. And some are influenced by whatever, I don’t know if it’s social media, players that have played previously that are influencing opinion… Obviously his club situation is difficult but he’s in an England shirt.
“I remember a few decades ago when some players were booed in an England shirt – it’s never been acceptable. I’ve never got it. Why would people play any better? Fans should always get behind their team.”
England have already qualified for the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar later in the year and are rated at 7/1 on Betfair to win the competition.