Gareth Southgate reacts to England’s humiliating 4-0 defeat by Hungary | Soccer

Gareth Southgate reacts to England's humiliating 4-0 defeat by Hungary

The out-of-form Three Lions had a night to forget at Molineux (Images: Getty/REX)

Gareth Southgate has taken responsibility for England’s humiliating 4-0 defeat by Hungary in the UEFA Nations League on Tuesday night and urged fans to stand by the side.

The Three Lions fell behind after just 16 minutes after a poor set piece defense, with Roland Sallai shooting wide Aaron Ramsdale and the home side offered little threat to even out the results in a subdued and lethargic performance.

As England struggled for cohesion, Hungary deservedly extended their 70th-minute lead through Sallai, who had scored just four goals in all of last season in the Bundesliga, before the floodgates opened.

Gareth Southgate reacts to England's humiliating 4-0 defeat by Hungary

Hungary went on a rampage in the latter stages of the second half (Picture: Getty)

A lackluster defense saw the ball back to Zsolt Nagy, who fired from the edge of the box with a powerful, sizzling shot before John Stones was sent off for an incredibly soft second yellow card.

The embarrassment didn’t end for England, however, when Daniel Gazdag fired from behind in the 89th minute to sink the ball over Ramsdale and inflicted the Three Lions’ heaviest home defeat since a 5-1 loss to Scotland in 1928.

England are now without their last four games – their worst streak since Roy Hodgson – and are approaching seven hours without a goal from open play, while also risking relegation in the Nations League having picked up just two points so far.

Fans booed England off the pitch and there were chants of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ but Southgate has defended his players and believes he is still the right man to lead England at the World Cup.

Southgate and his players were jeered by the Molineux crowd (Image: Getty)

He told Channel 4: “I understand the reaction at the stadium, what I would say is that this group of players has been incredible for the country and it’s important that people stay with them because going forward they’re still going to be great will be strong.’

Asked if he understood the reaction at the stadium, Southgate continued: “Yes, of course, look, at the end of the day it’s about winning games with England.

“Tonight was the kind of night that many of my predecessors experienced and it’s difficult to stand there. I’m not going to say it doesn’t hurt, but I’m very clear on what we’ve been trying to do in those four games and the irony is that the two Nations League campaigns were the ones that heaped negativity and pressure on us , and you wouldn’t normally have that as an England coach.

“I have to deal with that, it’s my job to protect the players, they have been exceptional in their attitude and the results are my responsibility.”

Skipper Harry Kane was blunt when asked if he still had faith in Southgate ahead of the World Cup, saying: “No question. It’s not even a question I should answer, if I’m honest.”

Southgate offered an explanation as to why England were struggling so much with Hungary: “Well we picked a young team with energy and when the game against them started it looked like it. That’s ultimately my responsibility.

England hammered by Hungary

England have just two games left before the World Cup (Picture: Getty)

“I felt like we had to tackle the game at half-time, we made changes that gave us a little bit more attacking dynamism, but then we were also a little bit more open and at the end we pushed, but we had so many Attacking players on the pitch that we left ourselves completely open.

“I just said it to the players there [in the dressing room] that in the four games it’s my responsibility, I’ve tried to find a balance by looking at new players, I’ve tried to rest players that we couldn’t keep flogging but ended up being the teams I picked not strong enough to get the results in the two Hungary games.

“I think the other two performances [against Germany and Italy] were more positive than perhaps the reaction to it, but I fully understand that tonight is a chastening experience.’

MORE : Gareth Southgate is telling the Premier League not to schedule games between the ‘Big Six’ before the start of the World Cup

MORE : England boss Gareth Southgate sends blunt warning to Manchester United duo over World Cup places

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Nate Jones

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