The FA's technical director says Gareth Southgate was the 'outstanding candidate'

Wednesday 30 Nov 2016

Dan Ashworth says new England manager Gareth Southgate was the “outstanding candidate” for the job.

The former Under-21s head coach spent four games in charge of the Three Lions recently following the departure of Sam Allardyce.

And FA technical director Ashworth believes the selection panel saw enough in that time and in the interview process that followed to know that Southgate was their man.

“We’re absolutely delighted with the appointment,” said Ashworth.

FA CEO Martin Glenn congratulates Gareth Southgate on his appointment

FA CEO Martin Glenn congratulates Gareth Southgate on his appointment

“Obviously, we’ve worked with him for three years as the U21s head coach and four successful games in two successful camps as interim manager and he did really well in the interview process," said Ashworth.

“We’d always agreed, without making it public, that we’d sit down a few days after the Spain game to allow him to clear his head, get his thoughts together and whether he was interested in doing it and his thoughts around the four games and the two camps and where we could take the team going forward.

“He then sat with a pre-agreed panel and we had a conversation about his thoughts on the players, the team, the direction of travel, his support staff and all those sort of things.

“And we came to the agreement that we felt Gareth was the outstanding candidate for the role.”

Southgate now faces a four-month wait before he can get his next squad together for the World Cup Qualifier with Lithuania at Wembley and a trip to face Germany.

But Ashworth believes that time will give Southgate chance to put his plans in place as the Three Lions target qualification to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

“It’s always difficult as a caretaker manager because you’re caught between wanting some consistency in what the team have been used to and implementing some, but not all, of your ideas,” added Ashworth.

“I’m sure Gareth will be looking at those four games and starting to think about some of the changes he’d want to make in March and going forward like any new manager does in any position.

“He’ll want to stamp his own authority on it and make a few changes to make it more like his own.”

Watch the full interview with Ashworth on FATV in the media player below.


By Nicholas Veevers Content Manager - FA Owned Channels at St. George's Park