England's Southgate won't outstay welcome

 

Gareth Southgate, Head Coach of England speaks with Reece James and Fikayo Tomori of England during an England Training Session at St Georges Park on June 09, 2022 in Burton-upon-Trent, England. 

Gareth Southgate insists he will not outstay his welcome as the England manager hit back at continued criticism over his perceived conservative approach.

The Three Lions boss has taken his country to a World Cup semi-final, a Nations League third-place finish and the final of Euro 2020 in the past four years.

But even during his most successful spells he has had to face accusations he sets up his sides too cautiously.

Supporters and former England players have called for the likes of Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold and Manchester City's million-pound man Jack Grealish to play more.

But Southgate refutes the idea he is not gung-ho enough and singled out what he considered a selfless performance from Mason Mount in the 1-1 Nations League draw in Germany as something that largely goes unnoticed.

"Look, I've got to find a balance because I don't want to sit and be defensive but some people have managed teams and others haven't," he said.

"Until you've managed teams, you have a different view of the game because what's needed to win football matches are the sorts of things that Mount did on (Joshua) Kimmich that allows other things to happen.

"Of course for the man who comes and stands on the terrace and in old terms pays his money, I totally understand he wants to see a Grealish with a (Raheem) Sterling, with a (Bukayo) Saka ... but you've got to have a balance of the team, this is top-level football.

"I think that balance of the team to get to a semi-final and final has been pretty good and maybe we've talked for years about why we haven't got there. I've got to manage in the way I see fit."

Speaking the day after last summer's Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy and before he had signed a new contract, Southgate had said he would not stay in the role for longer than he was wanted.

He reiterated that stance as he answered questions regarding the criticism he faces as England boss.

"I won't outstay my welcome but I think I can do a good job for the team and I think we've done a good job for the team," he said.

"If you look back I have always said it. I am not going to be here forever am I? There will be another England manager."

"But that's how I have always felt about it. The major part of that is how the players are. Do I still feel the players give everything and respond to what we do? Yes I do!"

 

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