Southgate urges FA to decide on England future in a month

Date published: Monday 14th November 2016 7:36

Gareth Southgate: In charge of last three matches

Gareth Southgate wants the FA to make a decision on his future as England manager within the next month.

Southgate answered a Football Association SOS after Sam Allardyce’s messy departure and has been in charge on an interim basis for the past three matches.

His temporary stint comes to an end after Tuesday’s friendly against Spain and last week’s 3-0 win over Scotland underlined his status as heavy favourite to land the full-time role.

A steering committee of FA chairman Greg Clarke, technical director Dan Ashworth, chief executive Martin Glenn and League Managers’ Association chairman Howard Wilkinson will be in charge of the decision.

Southgate has been careful not to publicly covet the job throughout his time in the spotlight but it is now clear he is eager to remain in the post rather than head back to the under-21s.

The Three Lions do not play again until March but Southgate is eager for an early verdict on his future.

“It will be important for me to know what I’m doing after the middle of November,” he said.

“We’ve got a European Under-21 Championship to prepare for and the seniors have got their next round of qualifiers (in March).

“Of course everybody is going to want to know, I guess, by the end of November, middle of December, where everything is heading so we can decide who is responsible for which parts of the organisation’s work.

“That’s not my decision in the end. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve done so far.

“I’m immensely proud to have led my country for three games, with another on Tuesday, and to be involved in an England-Scotland game, which is as high pressure as they come. It’s been a brilliant experience and very, very special.”

Southgate has undoubtedly made a favourable impression since picking up the baton in October, helping to settle choppy waters following Allardyce’s humiliating 67-day reign.

The former Middlesbrough boss has brought a cool head, a tangible dose of intellectual rigour and – in his handling of Wayne Rooney – a hint of bravery.

On the pitch England have been imperfect but efficient and seven points from nine, with three clean sheets and top spot in World Cup qualifying very much job done.

A relative lack of top-level experience is perhaps the major stumbling block, but he does not appear overwhelmed by the step up.

“I think if you look at a lot of the top coaches in the world they’ve had the opportunity at some point before they’ve worked at a big club,” he said.

“Maybe you prove yourself at a smaller one first or maybe you don’t. Pep (Guardiola) was straight in at Barcelona having worked with the B team.

“Everybody’s path is different. I don’t think there is an ideal pathway.”

England will be without Tottenham striker Harry Kane against Spain, having released him from their squad to continue building his match fitness.

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