Stones says Southgate has ‘brushed aside’ criticism during Euro 2024 and backs England boss

John Stones says the criticism aimed at England boss Gareth Southgate during Euro 2024 will only have motivated him to succeed even more.

The 30-year-old central defender is hoping to help his country to another semi-final of a major competition by beating Switzerland in the quarter-final of Euro 2024 on Saturday.

England’s performances on the pitch have failed to meet the pre-tournament expectations around Southgate’s side, however, and the England boss had plastic cups thrown in his direction after the goalless draw with Slovenia in their final group stage game.

But Stones praised Southgate for the impact he has had since taking over at England and believes his and the team’s doubters will have spurred him on even more.

“I’ve heard about the criticism he’s been receiving,” Stones said.

“I saw some fans after one game throwing bottles in his direction. I’m sure that will only have motivated him that bit more.

“I couldn’t tell you about his future, or us even knowing anything, but of course we all in this room have spent time with him and know him as a person, especially how hard him and his backroom staff work so definitely we want to win for them, ourselves, our families and everyone in the nation.

“He just brushes it aside. The only thing I can comment is that it will only effect him in a good way and make him want to win even more, do even better, but it gets brushed aside quite quickly.”

Southgate has led England to the quarter-finals in each of the four major tournaments he has managed the country and Stones believes the Three Lions boss deserves credit for the work he has done.

“A lot,” Stones said when asked what he has learned from the England boss.

“I’ll try and give you my top few that have left an impression of how he’s changed our culture within the team which is something that’s extremely difficult, having players come from different environments with their clubs to feel so comfortable within everyone’s company on the training pitch.

“The humility that I think we have as a team as well and the winning mentality. He’s very clear in what he wants us to achieve as a team and a nation.

`”I think the great attributes and great qualities he has as a manager is that he’s simple and clear with what he gets over to us as players and what he wants from us and what we’re all here to try and achieve, and that’s something that’s not been done.”`


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