David Lee in Russia: Gareth Southgate could be England's salvation

Effective game and player management skills have boosted his credentials to lead the team

For the first time at this World Cup, England manager Gareth Southgate looked slightly unsure. An hour after his team had beaten Sweden 2-0 in Saturday's quarter-finals, he returned to the pitch to thank the 1,000 fans of the Three Lions who had stayed behind in the Cosmos Arena to celebrate.

Looking sheepish as they serenaded him, Southgate played along in good nature and waved his hands like a conductor to the delight of the crowd before disappearing down the tunnel.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2018, with the headline 'Southgate could be England's salvation'. Print Edition | Subscribe