Southgate reflects on a busy few months for England

Friday 14 Mar 2014
Gareth Southgate has had a busy few months

Gareth Southgate has enjoyed a busy few months since the turn of the year, working together with his counterparts from England’s development teams.

The Under-21 Head Coach's role also oversees England’s U16, U17, U18 and U19 squads, with all of those teams being in regular action this season.

With an increased international fixture calendar in place for all those squads this season, Southgate has seen plenty of football on top of watching his own Under-21 players in action for their respective clubs.

England Under-21s head coach Gareth Southgate.

Southgate led England Under-21s to victory over Wales this month


And prior to the Under-21s’ victory over Wales in Euro qualifying earlier this month, Southgate’s side hadn’t been in action since November so that allowed the former Crystal Palace and Aston Villa defender time to work with his fellow coaches.

"Because I have an involvement with the other junior international teams, we’ve had an U15 camp, U17s camp, U18s camp in the last few months," revealed Southgate.

"We feel we now have a set of games that puts our players up against some of the best teams in the world.

"Our U16s went to America just before Christmas and played Brazil, the USA and Portugal.

"The U17s have just played Germany, Holland and Portugal in a development tournament at St. George’s Park too.

"We need to be playing those level of games as well as those where the lads can maybe create more chances and have more of the game. It's finding that right challenge.

Video highlights of England Under-21s' win over Wales



"And we’ve been putting together some documents about the philosophy of play for the whole system."

Aside from that, Southgate has been keeping close tabs on his Under-21s squad by visiting training grounds around the country.

With their next game coming up in May when they take on Wales away, followed by the Toulon Tournament for some of the younger players in his squad, Southgate is keen to maintain good relations with the club managers concerned.

And that’s something which he’s managed to maintain since taking charge of the Under-21s last September.

"I’ve been out to most of the clubs to meet with some of the managers and to see the players at their own clubs," he explained.

"But as with all the players in this group though, they are still a work in progress and they can only continue that learning by playing with and against better players whether that’s at international level or with their clubs."

By Nicholas Veevers