09 November 2023

Gareth Southgate ‘not interested in just racking up games’ as England manager

09 November 2023

Gareth Southgate insists he will not remain as England manager just to “rack up” games or years in the job.

The 53-year-old signed a new contract following England’s quarter-final World Cup exit in Qatar last year and the deal runs until next December.

That will take in Euro 2024 in Germany, with Southgate’s side having already qualified for the finals with two games to spare.

After guiding England to a World Cup semi-final and the Euro 2020 final, Southgate has enjoyed some of the best success of any manager of the national team since the glory of 1966.

He took the reins, initially on an interim basis, in 2016 but asked if he would be interested in staying on until the 2026 World Cup and making it a decade in charge, Southgate replied: “I’ve not even thought about it at all.

“The last time we played Malta here, I found out I was taking the team four days before the camp.

“Most things I’ve done in my life since finishing playing, I didn’t know anything about until a few days before they happened.

“I’m not one who has ever sort of had a plan in my mind of what my career would be. Let’s just enjoy what we’re doing, try and do it as well as we can and crack on with it.

“I’m not interested in just racking up games or racking up years. Its about being the best team we can be and taking on those challenges. I’m not just here to collect caps.

I’m loving working with this team, I’m loving working with the staff that work around the team as well

“It is about doing the job as well as I can, being excited by it, motivating the players, having the level of performance we’ve had for six or seven years.

“We’ve been in the top five for the last five years. That’s good, consistent performances and results, that would indicate. I’m genuinely not thinking about it.”

Southgate believes the life of an international manager is judged on a tournament-by-tournament basis and claimed to not be considering anything beyond aiming for success at the Euros next year.

“I’m out of contract next December and I think any manager who is thinking beyond seven months is in a privileged position really,” he added.

“I’m super-excited about the tournament. We’re really gearing towards the next tournament and I think everybody in international football is living from tournament to tournament so for me, I’m really comfortable with the position.

“I’m loving working with this team, I’m loving working with the staff that work around the team as well. We’re looking forward to the next few months.”

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