Football: Hard work starts now for Southgate after England confirmation

Gareth Southgate impressed the Football Association in the four games - against Malta, Slovenia, Scotland and Spain - that he took charge of as the team's interim manager.
Gareth Southgate impressed the Football Association in the four games - against Malta, Slovenia, Scotland and Spain - that he took charge of as the team's interim manager.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

LONDON • Gareth Southgate has been confirmed as England's new manager, signing a four-year contract to lead the Three Lions into the 2018 World Cup Finals.

The interim manager, who was interviewed by the Football Association's five-man selection panel at St George's Park last week, agreed a deal up to 2020, with a break clause after the World Cup in Russia that can be triggered by either party.

It is understood his salary will be around £1.5 million (S$2.67 million) a year.

Southgate was the only candidate interviewed by the FA.

His first game will be a friendly against Germany in Dortmund on March 22, before a World Cup qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley four days later.

The 46-year-old said in a statement: "I am extremely proud to be appointed England manager. However, I'm also conscious that getting the job is one thing, now I want to do the job successfully.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed working with the players over these past four games and I think there's huge potential. I'm determined to give everything I have to give the country a team that they're proud of and one that they're going to enjoy watching play and develop. For me, the hard work starts now."

Southgate made close to 650 appearances during his 18-year playing career with Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough, earning 57 England caps in the process.

He then managed Middlesbrough in the Premier League between 2006 and 2009 before becoming the FA's head of elite development in January 2011. He took over the Under-21 side in August 2013.

Said Martin Glenn, the FA's chief executive: "We are delighted to confirm Gareth as England manager. He's obviously somebody we know well but it's his understanding of international football and the development set-up at St George's Park that is important.

"He performed extremely well during the four games he was in temporary charge and he impressed us during a tough interview process.

"Gareth is a great ambassador for what the FA stands for, he's a very good football tactician and a leader but beneath that he's a winner and that's an important part of the job."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2016, with the headline 'Hard work starts now for Southgate after England confirmation'. Print Edition | Subscribe