Published 14 June 2022 4 min read
England Men's Senior Team

Southgate and Kane react to Hungary defeat

Written by:

Jonny Bray

Three Lions boss and captain both speak after the 4-0 reverse at Molineux
Following the UEFA Nations League defeat to Hungary, England manager Gareth Southgate and captain Harry Kane provided their assessment of the game and result.
 
In what was the fourth game in ten days for the Three Lions in the new Nations League campaign, the visitors took a first-half lead before adding a further three goals after the break.
 
And Southgate says he takes responsibility for the result, and in their first defeat against Hungary last week, with the way his team lined up in both matches.
 
“We felt at half time that we needed to go for the game and we made changes that we felt gave us a little bit more of an attacking impetus,” he said.
 
“But then we were a little bit more open as well, and in the end we left ourselves wide open. 
 
“I have just said to the players there that across the four matches, that’s my responsibility. 
 
“I’ve tried to balance looking at new players and tried to rest players because we couldn’t keep flogging our more experienced and better players. 
 
“But in the end, the teams I have selected have not been strong enough to get the result in the two Hungary games really. 
 
“I think the other two performances have been more positive than perhaps the reaction to it but I totally understand tonight is a chastening experience. 
 
“In actual fact, we have seen that you have got to be at full strength, and it was an important experience for lots of young players, this set of games. 
 
“We have learned a lot, especially in the Germany and Italy games and Hungary are a good side. 
 
“We knew that, and as I said I think I’ve given too much for them to do tonight in the end and I understand the reaction to that in the stadium. 
 
“What I would say is that this group of players have been unbelievable for their country, and you know it’s important that people stay with them because they are still going to be very strong moving forward.
 
“Of course I understand the reaction, in the end this is about winning matches with England and tonight was the sort of night that a lot of my predecessors have experienced, and it’s difficult to stand. 
 
“I’m not going to say it doesn’t hurt, but it’s very clear to me what we have tried to do across these four matches. 
 
“The irony is, it is actually the two Nations League campaigns that have been the ones to heap negativity and pressure on to us and we would not normally have that as an England manager. 
 
“So, I have got to go with that, it is my job to protect the players. They have been exceptional in their attitudes; they have never stopped, and the results are my responsibility.”
Three Lions skipper Harry Kane applauds the fans at Molineux after the defeat against Hungary
Three Lions skipper Harry Kane applauds the fans at Molineux after the defeat against Hungary
For Kane, it was equally frustrating on the pitch as the team ended June's international window without a win, after the two defeats to Hungary and two draws from the games with Germany and Italy inbetween.
 
“I thought it was a disappointing night,” he added.
 
“In the first half, we created enough chances to score but it has kind of been the story of our Nations League campaign so far. 
 
“We’ve not had that cutting edge and then the second half was unacceptable. Once we went 2-0 down, to concede in the way we did, but look we have not had a camp like it in a long, long time. 
 
“It’s not time to panic, it’s time to keep our heads up. I look forward to a break now and then we’ll come back stronger in September. 
 
“It’s our biggest defeat in a long time, our defence has been the cornerstone of our success over the last four or five years. 
 
“Look, it was a night to forget of course, but we need to take it on the chin and move forward. 
 
“At the end of the day, we are preparing for what is going to be a big World Cup and that’s the most important thing. 
 
“We’ll learn a lot from this camp and put it into our game for September. 
 
“It is no time to panic, I understand the fans’ frustration. We want to win every time we put on an England shirt but look, it’s not going to be perfect every game. 
 
“We have to understand that and the crowd and the fans but all we know is that we are going to keep working to make sure we have a successful World Cup.”
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