Asked about Mikhaylov’s comments, Southgate said in Prague: “I can totally understand why the Bulgarian president feels as he does because we have purely been responding honestly to questions we’ve been asked by you guys
“That will then be relayed however it may be relayed in Bulgaria, and the way that that’s pitched could appear provocative or appear that we’re the people who are laying the subject on the table.
“So, if I was him, and I was only reading those quotes and not knowing the context of why the things were said and the responses were said, then I would feel probably as he does.
“We are not trying to create a situation at all, far from it.
“We’re all hoping that over the next 72 hours, we’re just talking about two football matches.
“I think both countries would have a strong desire for that, and I have to say again, we don’t look at other countries in a way that we don’t shine a mirror on our own.