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Southgate e ends contract as England manager

by OtownGist

England manager Gareth Southgate has signed a new contract to keep him in the role until December 2024.

Southgate, whose previous contract was set to run out after the 2022 winter World Cup in Qatar, has been manager of the national side since November 2016.

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He led England to the final of Euro 2020 – their best men’s performance in 55 years – in July.

“It remains an incredible privilege to lead this team. We have a great opportunity in front of us,” he said.

Southgate will oversee England’s progress at next year’s World Cup, which runs from 21 November-18 December, and the qualification stages for Euro 2024, with the tournament taking place from 14 June-14 July.

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Assistant manager Steve Holland has also agreed a new deal through to the end of 2024.

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“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the players and support team for their hard work,” Southgate said.

“I know they and the fans are all excited about what this squad could achieve in future.”

‘A project I really believe in’

Southgate initially took over as caretaker manager from Sam Allardyce in September 2016 before being appointed permanently two months later.

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In 2018, he led England to the World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 28 years.

Under his tenure, they also finished third in the Uefa Nations League before reaching the Euro 2020 final, where they lost on penalties to Italy – their only defeat of the year.

“Over the last few months I’ve managed some of the biggest games in world football,” Southgate said.

“There are no shortcuts to those moments. When you have a good team and have done a lot of work culturally, where they are a good team, you want to see it through and have a go.

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“It’s difficult to win major tournaments, we’ve only won one World Cup, but we have to believe that’s possible. It’s an aim we have as a team.”

England have won 44 of their 68 matches under Southgate, with 14 defeats and 10 draws.

They thrashed San Marino 10-0 in their most recent international outing to secure their place at next year’s World Cup finals in Qatar and Southgate said he is “looking forward to making new memories.”

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“England has been a massive part of my life as a supporter, player, under-21 manager and now manager.

“The tournaments and big matches are what inspired me as a kid and to be able to connect people to that has been very, very special – and the team can still improve and want to improve.

“To step away at a moment where the next few years could be very exciting would have stayed with me. I was very happy to commit to a project I really believe in.

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England ready to ‘genuinely challenge’

Southgate said he is also excited by the potential in the England team’s future and his aim is to make sure the side “always evolves” and is “always competitive”.

“We can see what’s possible with the existing squad and some of the players coming through our age-group teams,” he added.

“I think what you hope is that you want sustained success. When you look at the top nations over years and years – Germany, Italy, France – they’ve had odd fallow periods, but generally they’ve always been competing for major tournaments.

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“We have to make sure our team always evolves and is always competitive. We’re now in a group of teams who can genuinely challenge. That wasn’t the case six or seven years ago. We went with hope, but now we can genuinely be positive.

“We know expectations are higher but that’s fine, the team is better than three years ago.”

It has been widely reported this new contract will increase Southgate’s salary to between £5-6m a year.

BBC

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