England had qualified for the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia and are also among the favorites to win the European title this time, but their preparations for the tournament were slightly spoiled when some fans jeered at players who bowed in an expression of anti-racism.
Some fans booed during the two friendlies between England and Austria and Romania at Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough.
“I think it’s time for the country to unite. It’s over,” Southgate was quoted by the BBC as saying last night.
“I think the England national team has often been the catalyst in uniting the people, so in order to achieve that we have to play well. We want to win and we want the fans to be happy,” the coach added.
The English fans were thrilled that his team reached the semi-finals of the European Championship on home soil in 1996.
Southgate was part of the England squad led by coach Terry Venables when the team exited the finals after losing to Germany in the semi-finals, and Southgate called on everyone to realize how strong and special their country is.
“We have faced a lot of divisions and at times we have to acknowledge how strong we are as a country and as a nation and our uniqueness,” Southgate said. “And we must always work to bring together the components of the nation, as was sometimes done at the beginning of the pandemic.”