Football Association releases statement on future of England boss Gareth Southgate
Despite talk that he could walk away, Gareth Southgate is to stay on as England manager, the Football Association has announced.
The 52-year-old was considering his future in the wake of last weekend’s 2-1 quarter-final defeat to reigning champions France at the World Cup in Qatar.
Southgate has a contract until the 2024 European Championship. But he admitted to feeling “conflicted” about staying on given what has often been a difficult 18 months.
But the former defender will now remain in charge for a fourth major tournament.
“We are delighted to confirm that Gareth Southgate is continuing as England manager and will lead our Euro 2024 campaign,” said a statement from FA chief executive Mark Bullingham.
“Gareth and (assistant) Steve Holland have always had our full support and our planning for the Euros starts now.”
Southgate led England to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia in 2018 and the final of last summer’s European Championship, before reaching the last eight in Qatar.
In the build-up to this year’s tournament there had been significant criticism of Southgate following a run of poor results.
Relegation to League B of the Nations League after losing twice to Hungary, drawing two against Germany and a draw and defeat to Italy led to serious questions being asked about his future.
But even after a positive response to the team’s run to the last eight Southgate stressed he needed a period of reflection to decide on the best course of action.
“I think, whenever I finish these tournaments, I’ve needed time to make correct decisions,” he said immediately after their exit.
“Emotionally you go through so many different feelings. The energy it takes through these tournaments is enormous.
“I want to make the right decision, whatever that is, for the team, for England, for the FA. I’ve got to be sure whatever decision I make is the right one.”
Neville applauds Southgate decision
Former England defender Gary Neville welcomed the news Southgate was staying.
“I think it’s the right decision,” he told Sky Sports News.
“When I saw early last week it was going to be discussed in the new year I didn’t think that would work. Letting it hang for so long.
“The fact it has come out is welcome. It puts it to bed and allows everyone to focus on the next 18 months. It means a succession plan can be put in place.”
That succession plan could involve a current Premier League boss, according to the latest reports.
England are back in action in late March when they face Italy and Ukraine in Euro 2024 qualifiers.