England's devastated World Cup stars quit Qatar and head for home - in pictures

Midfielder Declan Rice wants Gareth Southgate to stay on as coach despite quarter-final exit

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

England's heartbroken World Cup squad packed up and left Qatar on Sunday just a few hours after the devastating defeat against holders France.

The players and manager Gareth Southgate wasted no time after Saturday's night's 2-1 quarter-final loss, heading back to their clubs for the resumption of Premier League and European action.

Midfielder Declan Rice insisted their exit was not the fault of Southgate and backed the manager to stay in charge.

Southgate, whose contract runs until 2024, said he will take time to decide what his future holds but Rice was unequivocal.

“He said he’s so proud of us,” the West Ham captain said of Southgate’s post-match chat.

“For me, personally, I hope he stays. Obviously, I don’t know. There’s a lot of talk around that. I think he’s been brilliant for us. I think there’s a lot of criticism that’s not deserved. I think he’s taken us so, so far. Further than what people can expect.

“He got everything spot on again, it’s not on him. It’s not on him at all – the tactics were right, we played the right way.

“We were aggressive, we stopped (Kylian) Mbappe, he was quiet. Ultimately, it was two goals against the run of play and that’s not down to the manager, it’s down to us on the pitch.

England v France player ratings

“I really hope he stays because the core group that we’ve got and what he’s made for us, it’s so special to be a part of, I love playing under him and I love playing for England.

“We win together, we lose together. It’s just obviously really hard to process at the moment.

“We’ve come so far, I think that’s credit to the manager, the spirit that he’s brought to this team and togetherness that we’ve got.

“I think we’ve handled it so well, if you look at the squad we are so young, but we’ve got so many top players.

“We’re England, the mentality has changed now like I said, and we’ll be back for sure.”

Pictures of the England players leaving their team hotel can be seen in the gallery above. To view the next image, just swipe.

Updated: December 11, 2022, 8:02 PM