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11th Jul 2018

Daniel Sturridge has a message for the haters in the wake of England’s World Cup exit

Plenty of "supporters" are jumping off the bandwagon

Darragh Murphy

The cries of “It’s Coming Home!” have quietened and the optimism has hit something of a dead end.

England’s World Cup dream is over and while the right fans are focusing on the future of the very young squad which Gareth Southgate has at his disposal, there are some who decided to react to the Three Lions’ semi-final defeat to Croatia by lashing out at the players who underperformed on Wednesday night.

Harry Kane was not on his game at the Luzhniki Stadium, Dele Alli failed to make an impact and the centre-halves looked shaky at stages under the pressure from Croatia after the break.

Given the age we’re living in, it didn’t take long for the trolls to begin doling out abuse on social media to the players they unfairly felt let the country down.

But Daniel Sturridge, who was left out of Southgate’s 23-man squad, has issued a defiant response to the naysayers by reiterating that England ought to be applauded for what they accomplished in the past month.

A dejected Southgate spoke after the game about the pride he felt for how far his side managed to progress and most real supporters will hope that he remains in the role for the next major tournament.

“At the moment we all feel the pain of defeat,” Southgate said. “I don’t think realistically we expected to be here. But once you’re here and played as well as we did, you want to take those opportunities in life. The dressing room is a difficult place at the moment.

“I’m remarkably proud of the group of players – the reaction of the supporters compared to two years ago shows the country are proud of the way we played.”