Gareth Southgate has reiterated the need for a period of reflection to be taken in on the back of England’s Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy, but he is hoping to lead the Three Lions at the 2022 World Cup.
His current contract is due to take in that tournament, but fresh terms have been mooted for a man that has put a success-starved nation within touching distance of long-awaited international honours.
After reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and 2019 Nations League, an appearance in a first European Championship final has the Football Association keen to put an extension in place.
What has been said?
Southgate is reluctant to speculate on a new deal, as opinion can shift quickly in professional football, but he is looking to take in at least one more shot at elusive silverware.
The 50-year-old told reporters when asked again about his future on the back of penalty shootout pain against Italy: “I don’t think now is an appropriate time to think about anything.
“We have got to qualify for Qatar but I need some time to go away and watch the game and reflect on the whole tournament, I need a rest.
“It is an amazing experience but to lead your country in these tournaments takes its toll and I need a break now.
“I said at the time it is great to have that internal support, you greatly value that as a manager.
“I don’t want to commit to anything longer than I should and I don’t want to outstay my welcome so all of those things need consideration.
“I want to take the team to Qatar, I feel we have made progress over the four years, we have had a fourth, a third and a second-placed finish and that is as good as anyone.”
Will football ever come home?
England’s wait for international glory is now extending beyond the 55-year mark, with a World Cup triumph in 1966 remaining the only entry on their roll of honour.
Southgate is, however, convinced that steps are being taken in the right direction and has pointed to the recent success enjoyed by others as an example of how challenges can be overcome en route to landing ultimate prizes.
He added: “Most teams that win, France went through what we’re feeling now in 2016. Spain did it before they won. It’s normally part of the process you have to go to.
“The fact we’ve had the first signs of some consistency – semi-final, final – that has to be the right direction.
“When you get so close it’s more painful of course. It feels like my stomach’s been ripped out this morning. But I know that is the process we have to go through, and England have to keep that track going, whoever’s here, whoever’s at the FA.”