‘I’m just realistic and focused’ – Southgate shrugs off ‘pointless’ England contract talk
FA chief executive Mark Bullingham has said fresh terms will be awarded regardless of results at Euro 2020, but the manager’s focus is on the present
Gareth Southgate has been promised a new contract as England manager, but the Three Lions boss considers that debate “pointless” as he takes aim at the quarter-finals of Euro 2020.
The 50-year-old has been England coach since succeeding Sam Allardyce on an initial interim basis in September 2016.
Runs to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and UEFA Nations League have been overseen, but Souithgate is aware he remains one bad result from the chop.
What has been said?
Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham has said a new deal to 2024 will be handed to Southgate regardless of how England fare in their crunch clash with Germany on Tuesday, but those words are being taken with a pinch of salt.
Southgate said: “I always think it’s pointless talking about contract situations until you get to the end of tournaments and you see where everything sits, you have a much better picture of everything, how everybody feels about it.
“I really appreciate the backing and the support and I think if he hadn’t done that it would have caused a whirlwind of other stories, so I’m thankful for that and I’m just realistic and focused on the now and doing as well as we can in this tournament.”
Are England ready to deliver?
Southgate faced questions of his tactical approach as the Three Lions failed to sparkle during the group stage.
They did, however, collect seven points and three clean sheets en route to the last-16 and are ready to rekindle rivalries with old adversaries Germany.
History is not on their side when it comes to facing Germany at major competitions, with penalty heartache all too familiar, but England are prepared to go the distance again.
Southgate, who missed a spot-kick against Germany at Euro 96, has said of his team’s preparations: “We always practice penalties. We did for the World Cup, we did for the Nations League and obviously we won those two shootouts [against Colombia and Switzerland] so we’ll be thoroughly well prepared in the big tournaments and the big matches.”