Gareth Southgate says he ‘understands’ England fans’ reaction after being booed after his side’s defeat in Italy.
The Three Lions lost 1-0 at San Siro on Friday night, a result that relegated them from their Nations League group.
More disconcerting, however, was that it extended a bleak form with no wins in their last five games with the World Cup in Qatar is now threatening to become big.
After the final whistle, Southgate approached the end to cheer on England’s traveling support, but were greeted with boos after a frustrating evening for those who had made the journey.
“It’s very difficult to say why we don’t score. I think we’re getting into the right areas,” Southgate said. “We had the moments where we would have the pass, but we just didn’t deliver that last bit of quality tonight.
“I understand the reaction at the end because those are the results we have achieved in this competition. It’s an understandable emotional reaction.’
Giacomo Raspadori’s attack in the 68th minute was the difference on the night, with England failing to get a real shot at the goal.
England are now three games without a goal for the first time since November 2000 and have a 495-minute run without a goal in open play since Raheem Sterling scored against Côte d’Ivoire in March.
Despite another toothless performance, Southgate was encouraged by the display, describing it as ‘a step in the right direction’.
“It’s hard for me to be too critical of the performance. We had more possession, more shots, more shots on target,” he said.
“We played very well for most of the game. We did not tackle the decisive moment defensively. We had moments where we had the chance to be decisive in their last third, but our quality was not quite right.
“It’s a period where ultimately the results are the thing that everyone reacts to, but I thought there were a lot of positives for us as a team tonight.
‘A lot of good individual performances. Personally, I thought the implementation was a step in the right direction. I totally understand because of the result that it won’t be the reaction.’
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