Pickford and Bowen launch defence of England and Southgate

Displays in first two games heavily criticised‘Everyone is behind the manager’

England’s players have come out fighting after a barrage of criticism, with Jordan Pickford throwing support behind Gareth Southgate and Jarrod Bowen shrugging off Gary Lineker calling out the display against Denmark.

Southgate, who is expected to tweak personnel rather than play a new system against Slovenia on Tuesday, has had his tactics come under fire from television pundits and former professionals after England’s first two matches. There is also unease at Luke Shaw, the squad’s only left-back, being unlikely to recover from a hamstring injury in time to face Slovenia after he missed training again on Saturday.

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