Enfield: It is "outrageous" to suggest England's players do not care about representing their country, manager Gareth Southgate said ahead of Monday's pivotal World Cup qualifier against Slovakia.
"I fully recognise that our job is to try and entertain and excite the supporters," Southgate told journalists at the Tottenham Hotspur training ground in Enfield, north London on Sunday.
Southgate, capped 57 times by England as a player, suggested there might be historical explanations for why debates about the national team are often framed in simplistic, emotional terms.
Southgate said it was unrealistic to compare his team to Spain, who took charge of their own qualifying group with a dazzling 3-0 win over Italy on Saturday, saying England remained a "work in progress".
But he revealed Spain coach Julen Lopetegui had expressed admiration for England striker Harry Kane, who has scored five goals in his last three international appearances.
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