Gareth Southgate responds to England fans throwing paper planes at Wembley | Football

Gareth Southgate insists he is not fazed by fans throwing paper planes (Photo: Getty)

Gareth Southgate says he is not fazed by the discontent among some England fans, after the friendly against Brazil was marred by a quiet atmosphere and supporters throwing paper planes.

Last Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Brazil at Wembley was a largely dull and dreary affair, with some taking the opportunity to criticise Southgate’s conservative tactics.

The 84,595 fans were not too pleased either, with the crowd notably flat throughout almost the entire match, save for the jubilant away end.

Over the past few years, it has become almost tradition for those in Wembley to make paper airplanes and attempt to fly them onto the pitch, especially in dull games and when fans are dissatisfied.

The Brazil loss was no exception, with planes landing on the pitch as early as 10 minutes into the match.

Ahead of England’s friendly against Belgium on Tuesday night, Southgate claimed he was unbothered by planes and refuted suggestion that the crowd weren’t behind him or his side.

‘I saw a couple of those [paper planes] after about 10 minutes. I’m not a big paper plane man, I couldn’t look at the designs to pick up any tips,’ the Three Lions boss joked in his pre-match press conference.

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Fans at Wembley have thrown paper planes for several years now (Photo: Getty)

‘We’ve had that throughout. I don’t think it always reflects the game. People can do as they please with their paper planes.

‘Watching the game back, 75minutes or so, the national anthem was being sung. People in the stadium recognised we had young players coming on to the pitch.

‘We were still playing really well, we were comfortable in the game, in control of the game. One devastating counter-attack changed all of that feel.

A paper plane appeared to land at the feet of Southgate during the loss to Brazil (Photo: Getty)

‘We’ve had to say to the team, look at all the aspects we did well but in the final third we didn’t produce that moment of quality, that final pass, cross or finish and ultimately that’s where you win matches.

‘Against the very best you’re not going to get a lot of chances. You might get four or five shots on goal in those really big games.

‘It was the same in the France-Germany game, so you have to be clinical in those moments at both ends of the pitch.’

Ivan Toney is set to be the striker responsible for putting away chances against Belgium after Ollie Watkins was trialed against Brazil, with Southgate confirming: ‘Ivan will be involved in the game for sure.

‘I have to say, with everything that’s happened [injuries to key players], the original idea or plan for the week is a little bit different.

‘We’re probably finding out about more players but that’s really helpful. To see all those players against high level opposition will help us make better decisions moving forward.’

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