Euro 2024: England's Gareth Southgate his 'own biggest critic'

Gareth Southgate insisted he remains unaffected by negative commentary of England's recent performances, saying: "I am my own biggest critic."

The Three Lions have a chance to seal top spot in Group C with victory over Slovenia in Cologne on Tuesday night, but go into the match following a backlash to two underwhelming performances in their previous outings against Serbia and Denmark.

Former England captain Gary Lineker described last Thursday's draw with Denmark as "s---" while they were booed off by large sections of their own supporters at Deutsche Park Bank.

Asked about the various criticism from ex-pundits, Southgate said: "That is the world we are in. I am oblivious to it, it is not important to me at all. What is important to me is that I've got to guide this group of players confidently through the terrain that is a tournament.

"We are a high-profile team with expectations and we fully understand everything we do will be scrutinised, so I am very comfortable living that life and I don't need to engage in external because I am my own biggest critic, I think our players are as well.

"So there is nothing to be gained from us that is going to help improve us listening to external criticism."

Southgate previously revealed he takes himself off social media during tournaments to maintain focus and he added: "The great thing about being in this job for a long time is I've managed to realise how to manage myself in the best way. So a few years ago I would've read things, I would've listened to things and it would've saddened me and it would've taken energy from me.

"Now I have to cut myself off from it. I can't put myself in that position because you lose focus and you lose what's important. It gives me great perspective, it allows me to be, hopefully as I appear now with the team, they can see that in actual fact we're just thinking about how we improve things.

"We are composed in what we are trying to do. We never duck where we are as a team. I don't think any of you would ever have heard me say anything about any of our performances that was inaccurate or overly glossy. We are determined to progress so none of those things will change."

Slovenia are unbeaten in their last eight matches including friendlies and were only denied victory over Serbia by a 65th-minute equaliser.

Star striker Benjamin Sesko was a target for Arsenal and several other Premier League clubs this summer before signing a contract extension to stay at RB Leipzig and England midfielder Declan Rice said: "I've watched Slovenia, their first two group games, and they've actually been really, really good. A lot of strong players, really fast.

"Obviously the main talking point, Sesko, the boy who plays up front. He's been a massive target for clubs around Europe.

"Tomorrow is 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."