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Gareth Southgate says he is ‘right person’ to lead England into World Cup

England have been relegated from the Nations League top tier after a five-match winless run in which they lost twice to Hungary - including 4-0 at Wembley - and once to Italy along with two scrambled draws.

England manager Gareth Southgate, Gareth Southgate under fire, Gareth Southgate, Nations League, "the right person", FIFA World Cup, Qatar. 2022Gareth Southgate monitors an England training session. (Reuters)

England manager Gareth Southgate, under fire after a disappointing Nations League campaign, said he is nonetheless “the right person” to take the team into this year’s World Cup in Qatar.

England have been relegated from the Nations League top tier after a five-match winless run in which they lost twice to Hungary – including 4-0 at Wembley – and once to Italy along with two scrambled draws.

After the 4-0 defeat by Hungary in June the crowd turned on Southgate, and there were boos again from the visiting fans as he stood to applaud them following the 1-0 defeat to Italy on Friday.

“I think I’m the right person to take the team into the tournament,” said Southgate, who led England to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and the Euro 2020 final in 2021.

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“I think it’s more stable that way, without a doubt. I don’t think (the) performance (against Italy) was far off and I know that’s going to get derision just because we’re on the back of a run of defeats.”

Southgate said the experience of playing top-level sides in the Nations League would help prepare his players for the challenges that await them at the World Cup, which starts on Nov. 20.

“The younger players, in particular, that have been in these games will have learned a lot from them,” Southgate added.

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“In the past we’ve had runs of friendlies or whatever the matches are and then we’ve gone into tournaments and that’s the first time we’ve hit high-level opposition and it’s hit us in the face quite often.

“Now we know the level, now we know what we’ve got to improve and we’ll be better placed for that by having had the quality of matches that we’ve had.”

England host Germany at Wembley on Monday.

First published on: 25-09-2022 at 10:42:35 am
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