Football: FA expected to confirm Southgate as England boss at board meeting

Interim manager Gareth Southgate is expected to be approved as the new England football manager by Football Association chiefs on Wednesday (Nov 30).
Interim manager Gareth Southgate is expected to be approved as the new England football manager by Football Association chiefs on Wednesday (Nov 30). PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Gareth Southgate is expected to be approved as the new England football manager by Football Association (FA) chiefs on Wednesday, according to British media reports.

He has been in interim charge since replacing Sam Allardyce in September, after the latter was forced out just 67 days into his reign following a Daily Telegraph investigation into corruption in football.

The 46-year-old Southgate has made it clear he wants the job and, given the lack of other quality candidates, is believed to have done enough during his four games in charge to convince the FA to hand him the post on a permanent basis.

His position should be ratified during an FA board meeting on Wednesday, although an official announcement is unlikely to be immediate.

The former Middlesbrough boss, who would become England's third manager this year following the departures of Roy Hodgson and Allardyce, spoke to a five-man panel at St George's Park last Monday after the end of his interim period.

FA chairman Greg Clarke, chief executive Martin Glenn, technical director Dan Ashworth, former England player Graeme le Saux and League Managers' Association chairman Howard Wilkinson were all involved.

While it was billed as an interview, it was more of a discussion about Southgate's vision of the England team.

Glenn had previously confirmed that Southgate was in a strong position and the former England defender wanted the job.

During his brief tenure, Southgate has already had to deal with controversy, with captain Wayne Rooney pictured mingling with guests at the hotel where England were based during his free time following the 3-0 World Cup qualifying win over Scotland.

Newspaper reports suggested the skipper was drunk and made an unscheduled appearance at a wedding reception, with chief executive Glenn promising an investigation into the conduct of all players and staff during their free time.

Southgate was unbeaten in his four games, winning two and drawing two, including this month's win over Scotland which left England top of Group F as they bid to reach the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

England also beat Malta and drew in Slovenia before a 2-2 friendly draw with Spain in Southgate's last game, when they squandered a two-goal lead in the final minutes at Wembley.

Southgate's backroom team will be discussed at the board meeting, with Chelsea assistant coach Steve Holland set to be handed a full-time role with the senior national side.

The FA must also look at the age group set-ups with Under-20 manager Aidy Boothroyd having temporarily stepped up to replace Southgate, who had previously served as Under-21 boss.