England manager Gareth Southgate says he wants to remain in charge for the 2022 World Cup following defeat in the final of Euro 2020 by Italy.
Southgate and his players suffered heartbreak at Wembley on Sunday night as England were beaten 3-2 on penalties by Italy after a 1-1 draw after extra-time.
Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham said during Euro 2020 he wants to hand Southgate, who also took England to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup, a new deal.
When asked about the possibility of a new contract, Southgate replied: “I don’t think now is an appropriate time to be thinking about it. We have to qualify for Qatar. I need time to go away and reflect on Euro 2020. I need a rest.
“It is an amazing experience but to lead your country in these tournaments takes its toll.
“I said at the time it is great to have that internal support, you greatly value that as a manager.
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“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.
Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford were subjected to racist abuse on social media after failing to score in the penalty shootout.
Southgate described the abuse directed at the players as “unforgivable”, saying: “It’s just not what we stand for.
“We have been a beacon of light in bringing people together in people being able to relate to the national team, and the national team stands for everybody and so that togetherness has to continue.
“We have shown the power our country has when it does come together and has that energy and positivity together.
“It’s my decision who takes the penalties, it’s not a case of players not volunteering or more experienced players backing out.”
Southgate added: “We heal together as a team now, and we are there for them, and I know that 99 per cent of the public will be as well.
We stand together 🤍
We are driven by inclusion and equality and nobody should have to endure the repulsive online abuse seen recently. pic.twitter.com/JvfL2oSXAD
“Bukayo in particular has been an absolute star in this tournament, incredible maturity and the way he has played has brought a smile to so many people’s faces. He’s become such a popular member of the group and I know he has got everybody’s support.”
Southgate added it was too early to be able to reflect on the positives of the journey to the final.
“I know in time we will have an appreciation of that and I know the messages we are getting underline that,” he said.
“But when you are in sport and you get to a final you know those opportunities are rare and to be so close and to know what that has taken and know you have to pick up and go again, that is very hard the day after.
“We will go again of course.”
‘Russia was the start, cycle continues’
Southgate says his group now knows what it takes to do well in tournaments and is excited for the future.
“Russia was the beginning, we had seven in the starting team from Russia and that experience has been critical through the big matches in this tournament,” he said.
“So to add the young players in at the time we did, there is another group with more learning and understanding.
“Because of what they have been through in these two tournaments they will have a belief that they can get close. The cycle and the expectation of the group will know what’s needed to get to the level to get to win and that should be a process that stands us in good stead.”
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