We would do anything to protect this manager - Rice

Declan Rice said England's players would "do anything to protect" manager Gareth Southgate after they came from behind to seal a dramatic last-16 victory over Slovakia.

Three Lions boss Southgate had come under fire following his side's poor performances at Euro 2024, but Jude Bellingham's stunning injury-time overhead kick and Harry Kane's extra-time effort salvaged the success after going behind in the first half.

Cups were thrown at Southgate and some fans jeered after their group-stage draw with Slovenia, but he enjoyed a warm post-match reception as he celebrated with supporters on Sunday.

"We've got a togetherness, we proved that tonight," Rice told BBC Sport. We'd do anything to protect this manager, protect each other.

"We'll keep going and keep fighting and what we've got as a group tonight showed out there. It's an honour to be a part of it and we're going to give it everything."

Fellow midfielder Bellingham praised the "sacrifices" made by the team to help clinch a meeting with Switzerland in the last eight - live on the BBC - on Saturday (17:00 BST).

"We've won this game together," the 21-year-old told ITV Sport. "Not me, not Harry Kane, not the individual moments.

"It's the likes of Ivan Toney, Eberechi Eze, Cole Palmer, Bukayo Saka going to left-back.

"It's the sacrifice you make for the team and that's the energy we need to keep regardless of what goes on."

'We're putting plasters over things'

England won just one of their group-stage games, beating Serbia 1-0 in their opener before disappointing draws with Denmark and Slovenia.

While Bellingham and Kane's heroics have made it a memorable night, Southgate admitted people will "understandably" be questioning his side's performances in the tournament.

"Clearly in the first half we were too slow on the ball and they were compact in midfield," he said.

"Second half we changed and I thought, for a young team, we showed great patience. We didn't rush things."

Southgate added his side have had "loads of problems" to solve at Euro 2024, but they will build on their "spirit and belief" for the next test against Switzerland.

They failed to create a shot on target before Bellingham's superb late leveller and struggled to create chances after Ivan Schranz's opening goal for Slovakia.

But England were determined in their fightback and Southgate said: "We're putting plasters over things and giving young players opportunities and we're somehow finding a way.

"We're still in there and the one thing that can't be questioned is the commitment and desire."