England interim boss Gareth Southgate says he cannot understand why supporters decided to boo Wayne Rooney against Malta.

Southgate blasts Rooney boo boys

Southgate blasts Rooney boo boys

England's World Cup qualification campaign continued against Malta, with first-half goals from Dele Alli and Daniel Sturridge securing a win far more comprehensive than the 2-0 scoreline suggests.

The inability to net more was as much down to in-form goalkeeper Andrew Hogg as poor finishing, but Rooney bore the brunt of fans' frustration when missing the target late on.

The England captain, deployed in midfield, was jeered on several other occasions by home fans, leaving interim boss Southgate bemused.

"I presented him with a cap in the week for being the record (outfield) cap holder with his country," Southgate said. "It's fascinating to get an insight into his world over the last 10 days. Every debate seems to focus on him.

"The onus on him is enormous, the criticism of him is, at times, unfair and he ploughs on and plays with pride and captains his country with pride.

"I don't understand (the booing) but that seems to be the landscape. I have no idea how that is expected to help him, for sure."