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England boss Gareth Southgate: If we don’t win, I probably won’t be here anymore

Gareth Southgate knows his England future is on the line this summer (Mike Egerton/PA)
Gareth Southgate knows his England future is on the line this summer (Mike Egerton/PA)

Gareth Southgate accepts this summer’s European Championship will likely be his last tournament at the helm unless he is able to lead England to glory.

The 53-year-old took charge of the national team at one of their lowest ebbs, having been stunned by Iceland at Euro 2016 and seen Roy Hodgson’s successor Sam Allardyce swiftly exit.

Southgate has impressively managed to right the ship, leading England to the World Cup semi-finals in 2018 and quarter-finals four years later as well as going within a penalty shoot-out of winning Euro 2020.

But Southgate accepts consistently high performances are not enough as they look to become just the second men’s team to bring home a major trophy following Sir Alf Ramsey’s 1966 World Cup heroes.

“If we don’t win, I probably won’t be here anymore,” he told German publication Bild. “Then it might be the last chance.

“I think about half of the national coaches leave after a tournament – that’s the nature of international football.

“I’ve been here for almost eight years now and we’ve come close. So, I know that you can’t keep standing in front of the public and saying ‘please do a little more’, because at some point people will lose faith in your message.

“If we want to be a big team and I want to be a top coach, then you have to deliver in the big moments.”

Euro 2024 is the fourth and final tournament covered by Southgate’s contract as his Football Association deal expires later this year.

The England boss has been linked with the Manchester United job but has said he will not speak to anybody about his future until after this summer’s finals in Germany.

That includes the FA as he knows a contract extension before a major tournament can provide an unnecessary distraction, using Fabio Capello’s extension before the 2010 World Cup as an example.

Fabio Capello extended his England contract before a disappointing 2010 World Cup
Fabio Capello extended his England contract before a disappointing 2010 World Cup (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Asked if he could have signed a contract extension before the tournament, Southgate said: “No.

“The reason is that there would have been more criticism, which would have put more pressure on the team.

“England did that once before with Fabio Capello, and there was a big drama before the tournament. It’s better to check yourself after the tournament.”

While Southgate’s future is seemingly up in the air, Newcastle winger Anthony Gordon is hoping to work under the current England boss for some time to come.

England's Anthony Gordon stretches to control the ball against Iceland
Anthony Gordon is happy to be playing under Southgate (Bradley Collyer/PA)

“From a selfish point I would want him to stay,” said the 23-year-old.

“I love working with him and his staff. From my youth journey with England, the way they have transitioned the whole set-up from youth to senior level.

“It has been absolutely amazing and I don’t think they get the credit he deserves.”