Southgate backtracks to take England interim role

Date published: Thursday 29th September 2016 8:59

Gareth Southgate: England interim boss

Gareth Southgate is relishing the challenge of leading England into their World Cup qualifying campaign despite admitting earlier this month he did not feel he was up to the job.

Southgate has been handed the role on an interim basis while the Football Association seeks a successor to Sam Allardyce, who departed on Tuesday after just one match and 67 days at the helm.

The former Middlesbrough boss had ruled himself out of replacing Roy Hodgson in the summer and said: “I think with England there are one or two other things that I would want to have had experience of before I took that role.”

But having been promoted from the Under-21s in the wake of Allardyce’s sudden departure, Southgate insisted he is ready to seize his unexpected opportunity.

In a statement released by the FA, Southgate said: “I’m a passionate Englishman and I think people know where I stood on the long-term role in the summer.

“The interim role was never discussed at that stage because the FA were always confident that they could get somebody permanent.

“It’s obviously been a difficult situation for the FA but it was important that there was some stability and continuity for everybody.

“So, from my point of view, it was important to step forward and give us the best possible chance to win these games.”

England Under-20s coach Aidy Boothroyd has been appointed to lead the England Under-21s in their final two Euro 2017 qualifiers next month.

Meanwhile Allardyce has vowed to reflect on the “error of judgement” which brought his reign to an early end – but has not ruled out a return to management.

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Allardyce left his dream role after being caught by undercover reporters for the Daily Telegraph making a series of inappropriate comments with regard to FA regulations and side work to his employers.

Allardyce, who released a statement after leaving by mutual consent, also addressed the media on Wednesday morning outside his Bolton home.

“Obviously I’ve got to do this before I go away,” he told reporters. “I think that on reflection it was a silly thing to do, but just to let everyone know I sort of helped out what was somebody I’d known for 30 years (football agent Scott McGarvey).

“Unfortunately, it was an error of judgement on my behalf and I’ve paid the consequences. Entrapment has won on this occasion and I have to accept that.

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Asked if this would be his last job in football, Allardyce said: “Who knows? We’ll wait and see.”

West Ham’s Michail Antonio, who was handed his first full England call-up by Allardyce last month, called for Alan Pardew to replace Allardyce on a permanent basis.

The winger was impressed by the current Crystal Palace boss during their time at Southampton in 2010.

He told ITV News: “The manager I really like and who’s done well in the year is Alan Pardew. I was with him at Southampton. I think he’s a quality manager and I think he’d do well as England manager.”

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