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Phil Foden hits back at criticism of England manager Gareth Southgate in surprise admission



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Manchester City and England star Phil Foden has responded to recent critics of manager Gareth Southgate.

The 24-year-old has featured in all four of England’s European Championship matches to date, although the Manchester City star was replaced prior to the Three Lions’ dramatic last-gasp equaliser against Slovakia on Sunday.

Foden, who had temporarily left the England squad to return to the UK ahead of the last-16 win, is is contention to start Saturday’s European Championship quarter-final clash against Switzerland in Dusseldorf this weekend.

England have reached the last-eight of the tournament despite huge backlash and criticism, with Gareth Southgate’s side having scored only four goals and registered two wins across their opening four matches.

Manchester City forward Foden has also been subject to criticism, as the Premier League Player of the Season struggles to make an impact for the Three Lions, despite registering 39 direct goal involvements for Pep Guardiola’s side this term.

Foden has four goals in 38 England first-team appearances, and had a goal disallowed during last weekend’s 2-1 win following a VAR review for offside.

The 24-year-old has discussed the criticism of Southgate and England, revealing that the 26-man squad should also take some of the blame for recent poor performances.

“The players have got to take some of the blame. We have got to adapt to what the other team is doing to be better. It is something we have definitely spoken about recently and going forward,” Foden told the MailOnline.

“I feel sorry for Gareth. He hasn’t set out to (play defensively). In training he’s been telling us to press and be high up the pitch. Sometimes, it has to come from the players.”

England could reach successive European Championship semi-finals with a win over Switzerland on Saturday, with either Turkey or Holland awaiting the winners in Wednesday’s semi-final.

Foden is bidding to win a fourth trophy of the campaign, having won the Premier League, FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup with the Sky Blues.