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England coach Gareth backs Jordan Henderson amidst discontent

2023 Sep 09, 19:44, Wrocław [Poland]

Head coach Gareth Southgate defended experienced midfielder Jordan Henderson as England's LGBTQ+ supporters expressed their discontent over his selection.

Henderson made a switch to the Saudi Pro League where homosexuality is illegal. Ahead of their clash against Ukraine, Sky Sports reported that England's LGBTQ+ supporters group Three Lions Pride announced they would turn their back to the pitch if Henderson played for his country again - as that is what they feel he has done to them.

In the pre-match conference, Southgate said that fans should get behind the team as well as Henderson.

"As a team, I'm sure all of our fans are going to get behind the team when the game starts. I understand some of the comments that have been made and I respect the comments that have been made, but what has also said is they will get behind the team when we play, and I'm sure they will get behind Jordan when the game starts as well," Southgate said in the pre-match conference as quoted from Sky Sports.

"He's a very experienced professional. He's very mature at handling any situation really. He's trained well this week, the whole group has, and everyone is available for us which is really pleasing," Southgate added.

With Trent Alexander Arnold set to miss England's fixture due to a potential hamstring injury, Henderson could make a start for the Three Lions.

The game is set to be played in Poland's Wroclaw which is largely inhabited by people from Ukraine. After the war between Russia and Ukraine started, the number of Ukrainians living in Poland has trebled over the past 18 months.

Southgate talked about the atmosphere that the opposition fans would create during the match and said, "We know hundreds and thousands of Ukrainians are living here. We are expecting a passionate and partisan support. We are used to playing that environment and are respectful of the occasion. Our job is to come and win a football game."

England will face Ukraine in the Euro 2024 Qualifier on Saturday.


england vs ukraine euro 2024 qualifier Gareth Southgate Jordan Henderson
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