New England manager says he can't wait to make his own mark on the Three Lions team

Wednesday 30 Nov 2016

New England manager Gareth Southgate says he cannot wait to get to work on building a Three Lions team to make the country proud.

The 46-year-old was appointed to the role on a permanent basis on Wednesday, after impressing during his spell as interim boss in the previous four games.

And Southgate is now keen to get to work and put his own authority on the role as the Three Lions head into 2017 with an eye on qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

“I’m extremely proud, I think for myself, my family and everyone who has helped me on my way to be a player or a coach, this is a very proud moment for all of those people,” said Southgate, after signing a four-year contract.

FA CEO Martin Glenn congratulates Gareth Southgate on his appointment

FA CEO Martin Glenn congratulates Gareth Southgate on his appointment

“But although I’m very proud to be sitting here, I can’t wait to get on with working as intelligently as possible for the country.

“From my point of view, I’m delighted to know exactly what the task is now for the next few years and the hard work starts now.”

The former Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough defender has kept his cards close to his chest during his spell in charge, which saw victories over Malta and Scotland and draws with Slovenia and Spain.

But he now admits that he knew he wanted the job on a full-time basis after forging a bond on and off the pitch with the senior squad and also their reaction to him.

“Once I started working with the players and had a feel of the role, I knew where I wanted to go with it but I didn’t want to talk publicly about that as that would just put pressure on everybody,” he explained.

“The right thing was to just prepare in the right way and focus on the games, get the results which were most important for us to be top of the qualifying group heading towards Russia and everything else takes care of itself really.”

England manager Gareth Southgate

England manager Gareth Southgate

The new boss now faces a wait of almost four months before the next international get-together in late March.

And whilst he will be taking in as many games as possible and remaining in touch with the players and their club coaches during that time, the former Under-21s boss is hoping to put his own mark on the way the group work going into an important year.

“I was pleased with so much of what we did and from what I saw of how the players and the staff worked,” he revealed.

“But also, I’m somebody who likes to take a back view and see what I might change and what I might improve.

“We did that after the first two matches and now there’s a longer period to think about the culture that we want to create.

“Although I was very pleased with what we did, there’s a need for huge improvement if we want to be successful as a team and a desire for certain ways of working which we can start to establish to give us a better chance being successful moving forward.”

Watch the full interview with Gareth following his appointment on FATV in the media player below.

Tickets for England’s next game at Wembley against Lithuania on Sunday 26 March are now available. Click here to purchase tickets.


By Nicholas Veevers at St. George's Park