Gareth Southgate blasted boos directed at Harry Maguire during England’s friendly win over Ivory Coast as an “absolute joke”.
A seemingly small number of fans at Wembley jeered when the Manchester United defender’s name was read out ahead of the match, and he was booed again when he touched the ball in the first half.
Southgate has faced questions over his selection of Maguire due to his below-par displays at club level. He did not start against Switzerland on Saturday but was recalled to the starting XI for the 3-0 win over Ivory Coast.
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“I thought the reception was a joke, an absolute joke,” England manager Southgate told Sky Sports.
“The way he has performed for us has been absolutely 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 a player in an England shirt regardless, but when you've played at the level he has for us and put the performances in he has, it should be total commitment behind him. I don't get it at all.

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"His performance was pretty faultless really. He stepped out from the back really well for his first goal, was involved in the second one too. So, yeah. The team are totally united. We recognise everyone has difficult moments but he's a top player and he will come through it.
"They are real England fans and some are influenced by whatever - social media or players that played previously who are influencing opinion. The club situation is obviously very difficult but he's in an England shirt. A remember decades ago a few players being booed in an England shirt and it's never been acceptable to me. Fans should always get behind their team."
Ollie Watkins, Raheem Sterling and Tyrone Mings scored as England made it nine games unbeaten since their defeat to Italy in the final of Euro 2020.
Jude Bellingham was one of the standout players for the Three Lions, but Southgate was reluctant to talk up the Borussia Dortmund midfielder too much.
“There's a long way to go. We're good at building our players up. We have lots of talent. Jude seems to have the mentality to want to keep getting better. We're really pleased with what he does but there's still a long way to go.
"There's great competition for places so when we're developing young players we need to do it really carefully.
“We build players up in our country so quickly. I'm not saying he isn't an exciting talent - because he is - he is a great kid to work with. But we shouldn't put a load of hype around them. The rewards in our country and the spotlight is different. I'm being ultra-cautious. I don't think it will diminish his desire but I also don't want to create a hype around our young players."
England are next in action in June when they face Hungary, Germany and Italy in the Nations League.

Ollie Watkins celebrates scoring for England

Image credit: Getty Images

Sterling, who was named captain for the game against the Ivory Coast, said: “It is always an honour to get given the opportunity to wear the captain's armband, I wore it with great pride and it was a great team performance in the end.
"It is a great privilege and never in my wildest imagination as a young player coming thorugh did I think I would captain England one day, it comes with maturity the manager sees in you, the passion and love I have for the country.
"I always have this thing where I remember me coming through as a young player and it is nice when senior players put their arm around you, it is a new environment and all we can do is make sure the new ones feel as comfortable as possible.
"We continue to try to build, one game at a time, wait for the summer and put some good performances in."
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