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England manager Gareth Southgate says he will “review and consider” his team’s World Cup quarter-final exit with the Football Association before deciding on his future.
The 52-year-old, who took charge in 2016, has a contract until after Euro 2024.
After losing 2-1 to France, Southgate said: “These tournaments are all-consuming and I need time to reflect.
“We’ve done it after every tournament and it’s the right thing to do.”
Former England internationals Gary Neville and Ian Wright, along with former Republic of Ireland captain Roy Keane, are unanimously agreed that they would like Southgate to continue.
Having led England to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and the final of Euro 2020, Southgate was unable to reach the last four of a major tournament again after the agonizing defeat to France in Qatar.
“I’m incredibly proud of what the players did, not just tonight but throughout the entire tournament,” Southgate added.
“I think the team has taken a real step forward in all areas.”
England put in an impressive performance against the world champions, but could not make their superiority in the main stages matter and were duly punished in their quarter-final clash.
Captain Harry Kane equalized 1-1 but missed the chance to equalize again just six minutes before normal time after Olivier Giroud scored France’s second goal.
“Everyone can see the team’s progress through this tournament,” added Southgate, who was promoted as England Under-21 coach six years ago.
“I think the performance was at a very good level, [including] Against one of the best teams in the world in France.
“We showed how close we have come to this level, that we have some young players who have declared themselves on the world stage and our spirit that we hoped can take us further.”
Match-winner Giroud also spoke positively of England’s performance in Qatar, saying, “We knew the potential of this young English generation. They’ve got it all.”
“England are doing very well under Southgate”
Southgate began his reign as England manager in October 2016, winning 49 of his 81 matches, with the loss to France his 14th.
After losing 2-1 to Croatia in their last four matches at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, followed by another Italy – on penalties – in the Euro 2020 final, questions have been raised about Southgate’s ability to make the most of his talented squad. .
Other concerns were raised during a dismal Nations League campaign earlier this year, particularly after a humiliating 4-0 home defeat by Hungary, in which England fans chanted, “You don’t know what you’re doing in the manager”.
England have since recovered to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Qatar, with Southgate taking credit for the tactical decisions that led to a 3-0 victory over Senegal in the last 16.
But he will come under greater scrutiny after another disappointing exit, when many fans felt they had a team equipped to win the title.
“I would like Gareth to stay for another two years and beyond, both as manager and in a role in designing the FA for the future,” said former Manchester United captain Neville in his role as ITV pundit.
“England, in the past 10 years, have won youth tournaments, won the Women’s European Championship last summer and reached the final of the Men’s European Championship. We are playing well and we have good technical players.
“England are in a very good place, let’s be clear about that. We came out of tournaments in disgrace wondering what the hell was ahead.
“We have a great future and he is a big part of it.”
BBC pundits Martin Keown and Jermaine Jenas, both former England internationals, said Southgate “100%” should continue in his role.
Former Arsenal defender Keon added, “We played with faith and we are only 18 months away from the European Championship. This group will stick together and build.”
Former Newcastle midfielder Jenas said: “I don’t see any regrets, we advanced in the competition and today that match was coming of age.
“With regard to the performance of the coach and the players, I have no concerns.”
“England’s time will come” – reaction to the Three Lions’ exit
Former England striker Gary Lineker remained upbeat about the team’s future and said there was “no shame” in losing to champions France.
Prince William also tweeted his support, saying his country remains “proud” of the players.
Germany’s World Cup winner Mesut Ozil said England had no reason to feel “ashamed”.
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