Southgate calls for England support

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England manager Gareth Southgate has implored supporters to get behind his team.

Although Thursday's 1-0 win over Slovenia at Wembley secured English qualification for the 2018 World Cup, home fans booed the team's performance.

In response, Southgate urged for the public's patience with a young side.

"The players need a chance to grow and they need the country to get behind them," he said.

"We are picking up the consequences of decades of disappointment and this group are nowhere near as experienced as those teams."

Still, the 47-year-old manager acknowledged his side will have to play a certain way to garner wider support.

"We have to keep winning football matches," Southgate said. "The more we can play football which excites people and scores goals, the more we will win people over.

"We have tried to be as open as we can be. We are in an era where it must be difficult for fans to relate to players because of what they earn. But these are good kids, desperate to play for England."

Southgate has insisted England will not be there merely to participate, but has hinted there is definitely room for improvement.

"You are always at tournaments to win football matches but you also have to be thinking what is realistic," he said.

"I don't know how far the team can go at the moment, but what I do know is that we have got a group of players who I am proud to manage because they want to pull on the England shirt."

Six points clear of second-placed Scotland in UEFA's Group F, England finish their qualification cycle on Sunday against Lithuania in Vilnius.