England star responds to claim he was ‘disgusted’ by Gareth Southgate decision in Euro 2024 win over Slovakia

Ivan Toney was introduced in the fourth minute of stoppage time against Slovakia (Picture: Getty)

Ivan Toney has confirmed he had ‘the hump’ with Gareth Southgate for leaving him on the bench until the 94th minute of England’s comeback win over Slovakia and admits it has been ‘tough’ being a substitute at Euro 2024.

The Three Lions appeared on the cusp of a dismal last-16 exit as they floundered in their pursuit of a crucial equaliser after Ivan Schranz’s 25th-minute strike at Gelsenkirchen’s Arena AufSchalke.

But Toney was brought on in place of Phil Foden in the fourth minute of stoppage time and, just moments later, Jude Bellingham dug England out of their rut with a magnificent bicycle kick to force extra time.

Harry Kane put his side in front for the first time in the match just 51 seconds into the added 30 minutes of play and the header proved decisive, with Southgate’s men holding firm to set up a quarter-final clash with Switzerland.

Shortly after the match, Southgate revealed that Toney – who caused problems with his physicality and set up Kane’s crucial winner – was ‘disgusted’ with his decision to keep him waiting until deep into injury time to be introduced.

‘It’s strange but I never felt tonight would be the end of our tournament,’ the England head coach said after the game.

‘Even with the long throw you felt there’s hope, we can cause some chaos and something might drop.

Toney set up Kane’s extra-time winner in Gelsenkirchen (Picture: Getty)

‘I didn’t think the finish [from Bellingham] would be quite as it was.

‘There’s no question, I think Ivan Toney was pretty disgusted that I put him on with a minute to go.

‘I think we’ve made up now but he’s had a big impact, in the second goal as well.’

The Brentford forward came on just moments before Bellingham’s stunning goal (Picture: Getty)

Asked whether he felt Toney was upset because he should have been brought on earlier, Southgate responded: ‘Yeah, you put a sub on at that time and it’s the last throw of the dice and maybe he doesn’t even touch the ball.

‘I completely understand it, I don’t like putting a player in that position but I just had a feel he might be able to cause the chaos that happened.’

At his post-match press conference, Southgate added: ‘I could just tell from his face what he was thinking and I could understand it.

Toney faced the media ahead of England’s quarter-final contest with Switzerland

‘I was putting him on with a minute to go, any player is going to think, ‘well, I’ve been sat for the tournament and you’ve not used me’.

‘What I said to him was, ‘I know this isn’t a good time and this isn’t how you’d like it but there could be one moment’.

‘I think his presence would’ve unsettled them [Slovakia] a bit, and a very clever bit of play for the second goal, I think he’s just about forgiven me now.’

Southgate said Toney was ‘disgusted’ with his decision to bring him on so late (Picture: Getty)

Facing the media this afternoon, Toney said he always felt coming off the bench that there would be one last opportunity for an England player to become a hero in the dying embers of the game.

The Brentford striker told reporters: ‘There was always going to be another big chance in the dying moments and I feel like with myself, with my presence on the pitch, I try and rough up a few defenders and put my body around, like I said there’s going to be a chance for someone.

‘I think the three, two, one minutes, however many I got, there would have been an opportunity so I felt like you’ve just got to be in the game.

‘We got a chance and Jude put it in the back of the net.’

Toney impressed after coming on versus Slovakia (Picture: Getty)

Asked how he and Southgate managed to patch things up, Toney replied: ‘By winning!

‘Obviously, every player is going to have a bit of the hump not playing games, especially when it’s one minute to go. You want a bit more than that.

‘Luckily, we managed to get the equaliser and then it was up to me to put myself in a better space, get out my mood, and then get on with the game.

‘I think I did that and managed to contribute to getting H’s [Kane’s] goal.’

Toney would love the chance to play alongside Kane from the start (Picture: Getty)

Toney continued: ‘It’s always going to be tough [not getting regular game-time], it’s going to be tough for all of us.

‘Most of us play week-in, week-out for our club so it’s tough, but from the beginning of my career I’ve gone down this route a few times, being a sub, waiting, being patient and coming on.

‘I guess I’ve got to do that again now and hopefully when I get my opportunity I can take it.’

While Toney would relish the opportunity to play in a two alongside Kane up front, he conceded that he would have to ‘respect’ Southgate’s team selection against Switzerland this weekend.

‘I’m not the manager but obviously I would like to be playing as a two, but obviously the gaffer is the gaffer and his choice is final,’ he added.

‘We’ve got to respect that and we’ve got to go by that.

‘If I’m asked to play, whether it’s a one or two, then I’ll do my best for the squad.’

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