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Southgate angered by Henderson boos during win over Australia
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Mitchell Fretton at Wembley
Gareth Southgate was not a fan of fans booing Jordan Henderson against Australia
Gareth Southgate was not a fan of fans booing Jordan Henderson against Australia

England boss Gareth Southgate was left puzzled as Jordan Henderson left the pitch to a chorus of boos during the Three Lions' victory over Australia.

The former Liverpool captain was substituted in the second half and was jeered off by sections of the Wembley crowd during his exit.

When asked for his thoughts on the incident, Southgate was quick to back his player and called for fans to get behind the Saudi Pro League star.

He said: "I don't understand it, he is a player who has 79 caps now for England, his commitment and what he has delivered for England is exceptional.

"His role within the group on and off the pitch is phenomenally important, he is the one who has taken the likes of Jude Bellingham under his wing. 

"He's also been a brilliant role model for the group in his professionalism and his approach to every part of his work.

"Some people decided to boo but I really don't understand what that is for. We play Italy here on Tuesday, let's get behind this team.

"I know we weren't at our best tonight but that was due to a lot of changes that we made and we gave the players that were out there a really difficult task but this is a team that is delivering a lot and they deserve everyone's support."

Jordan Henderson captained England against Australia
Jordan Henderson captained England against Australia

England were not at their best despite beating the Socceroos but it was a night to remember for Levi Colwill and Eddie Nketiah who both made their debuts for the Three Lions.

Bringing in two youngsters for their first caps topped a list of positives Southgate is taking from the game but he ultimately believes the lack of experience cost his side on the pitch.

He added: "Normally we would put one or two of those lads in with a lot more experience and a lot more continuity so it was extremely hard for that group of players and it was completely understandable that we weren’t as cohesive.

"I thought we would use the ball better, but we didn't. 

"When you are not used to working together as a group and the approach is not quite right, teams can play through you and you can look vulnerable on the break.

"It wasn't a win because of how we played, we had enough quality to create a couple of important moments.

"We know all the changes and inexperience made it tough for those that played. 

"It was important to keep winning, it sets the game up now with Italy. It's harder to prepare the squad when ultimately they know that is what this week is about.

England can qualify for Euro 2024 on Tuesday night but the boss is wary of the threat they will face under the Wembley arch.

He said: "Italy look revitalised under [Luciano] Spaletti, they were excellent against Ukraine and they are a top ten nation.

"We have the chance to qualify for the Euros with two games to spare and it is a great test to see where we are as a team and we are really looking forward to it."


EnglandJordan HendersonSaudi Pro League (SPL)
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