Friday, September 29, 2023

England boss Gareth Southgate admits he was supporting Scotland during the 1978 World Cup

England boss Gareth Southgate has admitted that he was backing Scotland for glory in the 1978 World Cup.

Southgate made the shock admission ahead of the Three Lions’ clash with Scotland at Hampden Park for a 150th Anniversary Heritage Match on Tuesday, live on talkSPORT.

Southgate admits he was a Scotland fan during their World Cup campaign in 1978Getty

The Scots were unable to deliver success thoughGetty

Given the historic rivalry between the two home nations, many fans are expecting the friendly to be anything but that.

Speaking to the media ahead of the clash, Southgate recalled the first time he watched England take on Scotland.

“My first memory is some of your mates nicking the goalposts at Wembley, so back to 1977!” he said. “When I was growing up it was only the FA Cup final and the home internationals that were live on television, so it was the only game we saw really.”

The match in question saw Scotland beat England 2-1 in the 1976/77 British Home Championship, with Southgate aged seven at the time.

Southgate’s first memory of the rivalry with England saw Scotland record a historic winGetty

Scotland fans invaded the pitch at Wembley in celebration as they won on the hallowed turf for the first time in ten years.

Just a year later they competed at the World Cup in Argentina, and Southgate supported England’s neighbours amid the Three Lions’ absence.

“I mean this is horrendous what I’m going to say here ahead of tomorrow but I saw supporting Scotland in 1978 because obviously we hadn’t qualified!” he said.

“So I kind of followed that through the trauma of Peru and the Netherlands, then we were back in in 1982 and all of sudden for me then onwards it was all about England.”

Scotland failed to make it out of the group at the World Cup as they could only muster one win against the Netherlands, with a draw coming against Iran and defeat to the hands of Peru preventing them from advancing to the next stage.

The two sides last met in a 0-0 draw during Euro 2020Getty

Speaking on the rivalry itself, Southgate added: “Great fixtures, I’ve met so many of the former players over the years, worked with some of them, played with some of them so it’s a fabulous game.

“I know there’s a rivalry and I know people will be wary of it crossing a boundary but it’s a brilliant sporting rivalry and it’s a great game to be involved in.”

England head into their second match of the international break off the back of a 1-1 draw against Ukraine in their Euro 2024 qualifier.

Their clash against Scotland will be the 116th meeting between the two countries, with the Three Lions leading on 48 wins.

The new talkSPORT match centre

Keep up-to-date with all the latest football fixtures, results and standings in our new match centre.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *