Southgate wants to 'prove people wrong' at club level after England role

England manager Gareth Southgate
England manager Gareth Southgate
Image: Reuters

England manager Gareth Southgate said he would like to return to club management at some point and that he would be motivated to “prove people wrong” about his track record in domestic football.

Southgate, who was handed the England job on a full-time basis in 2016, has signed a new contract through to the end of 2024.

He led England to the 2018 World Cup semifinals and the Euro 2020 final this year.

The 51-year-old's only role in charge of a club was at Middlesbrough where his three-year stint came to an end after their relegation from the Premier League in 2009.

“There is the obvious challenge because people view my club management purely through the eyes of a relegation. There is the part of you that wants to prove people wrong,” Southgate said.

“There will be a day when I do that, I'm sure. If in three years I decided that was it, I (would be) 53, with the experience of managing in one of the most pressurised jobs in football, with the biggest games in world football behind you.

“If that was the decision at that point, then I would have a lot of excellent experiences behind me. But I have no idea what I will feel in three years' time. And I don't feel an urgency to push to other things.”

England qualified for next year's World Cup in Qatar as group winners with a 10-0 victory in San Marino last week.

Southgate's future had been the source of some uncertainty with his much-admired work with the national team making him a candidate for some of the top club jobs.

But the new deal means he and his assistant Steve Holland will lead England to next year's 2022 World Cup finals before taking them through qualifying for Euro 2024.

“I am delighted that Steve and I have been able to extend our stay in our respective roles,” Southgate said.

“We have a great opportunity in front of us and I know they and the fans are all excited about what this squad could achieve in future.”

Former Crystal Palace and Aston Villa player Southgate began his managerial career at Middlesbrough in 2006, having ended his playing career with them, before taking charge of England's under-21 side in 2013.

He was seen as a safe pair of hands when Sam Allardyce left his post after only 67 days, and after impressing the FA hierarchy during a short spell as interim manager, he was handed a four-year contract at the end of 2016.

From the humiliation of being knocked out by Iceland at Euro 2016 under Roy Hodgson, Southgate has since moulded England into one of the world's best teams, winning praise for his work on and off the field.

He has shown a willingness to fast-track youngsters such as Marcus Rashford, Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham into the squad while remaining fiercely loyal to players who may have struggled for form at club level.

Southgate, famed for his smart waistcoats, united the nation behind the England team at the Russia World Cup in 2018, taking them to the semifinals where they were beaten by Croatia. — Reuters

 

 

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