Gareth Southgate ‘realistic’ as he admits England sack is possible; says mood ‘has changed’

England manager Gareth Southgate

England boss Gareth Southgate says his contract will not protect him and he will likely be sacked if the Three Lions flop in the World Cup, while also admitting the mood ‘has changed’ regarding his situation.

Southgate did a great job to take England to the World Cup semi-final in Russia in 2018. They went one better at the 2020 European Championship and reached the final after some fantastic results against Germany, Ukraine and Denmark.

England were at home for the final against Italy and appeared to have a great shot at ending their trophy drought. However, they lost to Roberto Mancini’s side in a dramatic penalty shoot-out, following a 1-1 draw after extra time.

England picked themselves up from that defeat and won seven out of their next nine matches, going unbeaten in the process.

However, Southgate came in for criticism when his team had a string of poor results in the summer. They lost to Hungary twice and drew with Germany and Italy.

The Three Lions were looking to get back to winning ways against Italy on Friday. They were also hoping to get revenge on their Euros final opponents.

However, England put in a poor performance and lost 1-0 at the San Siro. Southgate was subsequently booed as he went to clap the away fans.

England have one game to pick up a confidence-boosting win before their World Cup campaign gets underway on November 21. They face Germany on Monday (tonight).

Gareth Southgate talks England future

It makes for bleak reading for Southgate, though, with England’s pre-tournament form never being worse than now.

Ahead of the match, Southgate was asked about his future and whether he could face the sack if his team fails to reach the latter stages of the tournament.

He says his contract, which runs until December 2024, will not protect him. Plus, Southgate admits the mood ‘has changed’ about his future following England’s defeat to Italy.

“I am not foolish,” Southgate said (via Metro). “My sole focus at the moment is to get the team right for tomorrow. Then we are focusing on a good performance and a good result. I know ultimately I will be judged on what happens at that World Cup.

“Contracts are irrelevant in football because managers can have three, four, five‑year contracts and you accept that, if results are not good enough, it is time to go your separate ways.

Manager not ‘arrogant’ about sack

“Why would I be any different? I am not arrogant enough to think that my contract is going to protect me in any way.

“We understand how the mood changes with the results and [it] has changed. I am realistic about that. I will be judged on what we do in Qatar and I am perfectly happy to be judged in that way.

“History is history and you are judged on the next match and the next tournament.”

The 52-year-old knows he will probably be let go if England continue to put in lacklustre performances and fail to get results at the World Cup.

England have a plethora of top attacking players, including Bukayo Saka, Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish.

But Gareth Southgate is struggling to get the best out of them and his team has looked disjointed recently. There is big pressure on Southgate and his team to put on a show against Germany tonight.

Meanwhile, Sterling has spoken about the scrutiny his national team boss faces and how the players must share the burden.