England’s Matthew Southgate was given plenty of encouragement during his Scottish Open first round – thanks to references to Three Lions boss Gareth.
“A few people were chucking out the ‘Nice shot Gareth’ but I’m not sure Gareth threads it through linksy bunkers like I do with the driver!” Southgate joked after a round containing an eagle, five birdies and two bogeys.
“I watched every minute (of the semi-final) and am obviously gutted with the result but not disappointed with their performance.
“It is a young side and I’m sure that they will come back and get better and the biggest positive is the way they got through the penalty shootout (in the last 16 against Colombia).
“Hopefully football will be coming home, just maybe a couple of years later than we wanted it to be.
“I don’t think the guys can be too disappointed with the way that they played.
“I think it’s lovely the way the country has got behind the team this time round. It makes a nice change, the media haven’t hammered them for how they’ve played and I think everybody is really proud.
“I think there’s 20 or 30 guys getting on a plane home from Russia that can all hold their heads high.
“I’ve never met Gareth. I’d like to meet him. It’s a complete coincidence, there’s no connection, we’re not related in any way.”
- Press Association