Gareth Southgate responds to Gary Lineker’s latest comments amid England ‘s***’ storm as Three Lions boss insists he’s only heard ‘one word’ of what the BBC presenter said

  • Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer were critical after England drew 1-1 with Denmark
  • Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate has hit back at the BBC presenter’s comment
  • LISTEN to It’s All Kicking Off! Steve Clarke out? Has the Scotland manager taken them as far as he can? 

Gareth Southgate says the comments of Gary Lineker are ‘not important’ to him after captain Harry Kane hit back at the Match of the Day host.

Lineker labelled England’s performance during the 1-1 draw with Denmark last week as ’s***’, and Kane responded by accusing him of doing so to promote his podcast.

Southgate was asked about the furore on the eve of England’s final group match with Slovenia here in Cologne, and said: ‘I haven’t heard what he said. I have heard one word. That is the world we are in.

‘I am oblivious to it. It is not important to me at all. What is important to me is I have to guide this set of players confidently through the terrain that is the tournament.

‘We are a high-profile team and we have expectations and we fully understand everything we do will be scrutinised. I am very comfortable living that life. I don’t need to engage in the external, because I am my own biggest critic and I think our players are as well.

Gareth Southgate says Gary Lineker’s criticisms of England are ‘not important’ to him

Lineker described England as 's***' on his podcast 'The Rest is Football', which he hosts and is owned by Goalhanger, his production company

Lineker described England as ‘s***’ on his podcast ‘The Rest is Football’, which he hosts and is owned by Goalhanger, his production company 

‘There is nothing to be gained from us listening to external criticism. We know what we have done well and are very honest about that. We know where we need to improve and we are brutally honest about that. That is how you coach a team and improve performance.

‘External noise shouldn’t affect us. Performances are what we need to focus on. Results so far have almost put us into the next round. We are looking to win the group and having a better performance. There are some fundamentals over how we have played over a long time that we need to get back to.’

Declan Rice was sat next to the manager at the RheinEnergieStadion. He said the squad were aware of external comments but were trying to focus on the positives.

‘The guys (journalists) in here have been fair with what they’ve been saying,’ said Rice.

Declan Rice (right) echoed his manager's thoughts during the press conference on Monday

Declan Rice (right) echoed his manager’s thoughts during the press conference on Monday

‘The expectation of what people are going to say is going to be negative. I did come out and defend our front players, and as players you do read stuff. It is better to read a load more stuff which is positive than it is negative.

‘For me as a player, when I was captain at West Ham, I like to encourage and tell people they can be the best player on the pitch. The more you feel that as a player the more confident you are stepping onto the pitch, and you will see that tomorrow night.’

Meanwhile, Southgate has confirmed that Luke Shaw is the only player unavailable for the game as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury.