Exclusive Gareth Southgate: England boss says team still have some way to go to beat the best | Soccer News

Gareth Southgate is focusing on the ‘small details’ that will help England in their bid to win the World Cup later this year.

The Three Lions have been the almost men for the past four years as they were semi-finalists in Russia in 2018 while losing the Euro 2020 final last summer.

Southgate know their side are close to ending a 56-year trophy drought and intend to use the time before the Winter Tournament to put everything in order.

« It’s a brilliant challenge for us first, » he said exclusively. sky sports. “The team has reached a certain level and there is a lot more expectation and evidence that they can do well.

England boss Gareth Southgate recently signed a contract extension to remain as manager until the end of 2024

“We focus on the little things that can take us from a really competitive team to a team that can win.

“We know we still have a step to take to beat the best of the rest consistently. You balance that with (the fact that) we’re still 10 months away (from Qatar) and form and fitness can fluctuate a lot over that time.

“There are things that we want to do well in March and in the summer that are important basics and we have to pace ourselves through the year to peak at the end of the season. »

Southgate on performance under pressure

Gareth Southgate hugs Bukayo Saka after England's Euro 2020 final defeat
Southgate hugs Bukayo Saka after England’s Euro 2020 final loss

The experience of the big game over the past two tournaments will stand the Three Lions in good stead, while their players will be exposed to huge opportunities at their clubs on a regular basis.

Southgate says the accumulation of experience could be a key factor.

“The team is improving, gaining more experience collectively and individually. League form is important and big game form is even more important,” he added.


“(The big games) are about playing under the most extreme pressure and intensity and you learn about the players in the semi-finals and cup final games with their club. Do people have the resilience to stand tall in an English shirt and thrive on those big nights? »

Southgate was speaking when announcing his induction into the semi-renowned Legends of Football later this year – a feat due to his exploits as England manager.

He was instrumental in reconnecting the national team with the fans, with the whole country swept away by their achievements at Euro 2020.

How Sweet Caroline inspired Euro 2020 success

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Gareth Southgate reflects on the turbulent past 12 months which saw England close to a first Euro triumph, as well as Qatar 2022

And a big part of that was the emergence of Neil Diamond’s My dear Caroline – the new fan anthem – and when Southgate heard it sing ahead of the Round of 16 against Germany, he knew it would be a good day.

« I was in the locker room and the team was on the pitch warming up, » he added.

“We were only around 40,000 at Wembley for the game against Germany, but that was the first time I had heard that in the stadium.

“It was powerful. I could tell people were excited about the game and the team.

“You don’t often hear the crowd from the locker room, but when they were playing that and people were singing, you could feel it was going to be a good day. »

Legends of Football will honor Gareth Southgate at a star-studded event on October 3 at the JW Marriott, Grosvenor House, London. Go to www.lofootball.co.uk to book your table.

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