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Gareth Southgate unmoved by pundit criticism as England prepare for Slovenia test at Euro 2024

Gareth Southgate responds to criticism of his side's laboured 1-1 draw with Denmark last week, saying he's "oblivious to external noise"; former England forwards Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer were among the pundits to express concern over the unconvincing display

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Ahead of England's final group game against Slovenia, Gareth Southgate explains why he is 'oblivious' to media criticism

Among the harshest takedowns of England's display in their 1-1 draw with Denmark on Thursday came from ex-player turned pundit Gary Lineker.

The 48-goal former England striker labelled the performance as "s***" on his 'The Rest is Football' podcast, while ex-England captain Alan Shearer also laid into Gareth Southgate's side.

But Southgate says he is unconcerned with external criticism and simply focused on improving England's performances after a stuttering start to the tournament.

England face Slovenia on Tuesday night in their final Group C game having taken four points from their opening two fixtures, and are now guaranteed to reach the knockout stages regardless of what happens in Cologne.

"I've managed to realise how to manage myself in the best way. A few years ago I would have read things, I would have listened to things, and it would have saddened me and taken energy from me," the England boss said.

"Now I'm oblivious to it. It's not important to me. What's important to me is guiding this group of players through the tournament. We're a high-profile team with expectations, and I'm very comfortable living that life.

"I don't need to engage in the external, I'm my own biggest critic. The players are the same. There's nothing to be gained. We're brutally honest about what we need to do better - that's how you coach a team and how you improve.

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Despite their underwhelming start to Euro 2024, England manager Gareth Southgate insists the mood in camp is good and they're determined to improve their performances in the latter stages of the tournament

"We never duck where we are. I never say anything about any of our performances that is inaccurate or overly glossy. We're determined to progress, none of those things will change.

"Every other national coach is probably experiencing the same, that's the modern world. It's a different environment, but if you don't open yourself to it, it can't affect you."

Southgate is not expected to make wholesale changes despite their underwhelming start, with Conor Gallagher tipped to replace makeshift midfielder Trent Alexander-Arnold.

All 26 players trained ahead of Tuesday's encounter, but left-back Luke Shaw will not feature as his rehabilitation from a hamstring issue continues cautiously.

Rice: Slovenia will aim to 'shock the world'

Midfielder Declan Rice wants England to move on from their slow start - but warned next opponents Slovenia will be out to "shock the world".

England have already qualified for the last 16 but will want to finish the group stage on a high against Slovenia, who - at 57th - are the lowest ranked side in the pool.

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Declan Rice is confident they can turn their Euro 2024 campaign around, despite having made an underwhelming start so far

"Tomorrow is a chance for us as a group to bounce back from the other night," Rice said on the eve of the clash at RheinEnergieStadion.

"That's the beauty of football. You always get another chance to go again and tomorrow night we have that chance to put that game behind us and move forward in a positive way."

England have never lost to Slovenia, who are seeking their first ever win at a European Championship having qualified for just the second time as an independent nation.

"I've watched Slovenia, their first two group games, and they've actually been really, really good," Rice added.

"They have a lot of strong players, really fast. Obviously the main talking point, (Benjamin) Sesko, the boy who plays up front. He's been a massive target for clubs around Europe.

"It's going to be really tough. When you play teams like Slovenia, you know what you are going to get.

"They are going to come at us, they are going to want to win the game, they are going to want to shock the world."

Lineker: Journalists are 'stirring the pot'

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Harry Kane has responded to criticism from some former players by asking them to 'take a step back' and remember the challenges of playing for England

Match of the Day host Lineker said journalists were "stirring the pot" after Harry Kane was asked about being on the end of criticism from former England players.

Kane hit back during a press conference on Sunday, saying former players have a responsibility to keep their opinions in check as they have been part of England's long trophy drought.

"Made the headlines again, haven't I? Because journalists being journalists, being a bit tricky in these things and trying to wind up our footballers," Lineker said.

"We've been critical of England's performances, as has pretty much every journalist, but you know how it happens.

"We've talked about this a few times before, about journalists not being brave enough to ask their own questions.

"There was one bit there where he (Kane) says that we have responsibilities as ex-England players, that we should know better and that we never won anything or words to that effect.

"Fine, he's absolutely right. But I will say one thing: the last thing in the world we want to be is downbeat and critical. We want the England team to perform well on the pitch. The best punditry of all is when England play well."

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