Southgate says he could leave if England don’t win Euro 2024

11 June 2024 - 16:09
By Pearl Josephine Nazare
England manager Gareth Southgate and Kieran Trippier look dejected after their international friendly against Iceland at Wembley Stadium in London, Britain this month.
Image: Reuters/Molly Darlington England manager Gareth Southgate and Kieran Trippier look dejected after their international friendly against Iceland at Wembley Stadium in London, Britain this month.

England manager Gareth Southgate says the European Championship in Germany might be his last chance to win a major trophy with the country, having been in charge of the Three Lions since 2016.

The 53-year-old led England to the Euro 2020 final and also guided them to a third-place Nations League finish in 2019.

Former Middlesbrough coach Southgate has been linked with Manchester United but earlier said he was completely focused on the national team. His England contract expires in December.

“If we don't win, I probably won't be here any more. Then it might be the last chance,” Southgate told German newspaper BILD. “I think about half the national team coaches leave after a tournament — that's the nature of international football.

“I've been here for almost eight years now and we've been close. So I know that you can't keep standing in front of the public and saying, 'A little bit more please', because at some point, people lose faith in your message.

“If we want to be a great team and I want to be a top coach, then you have to deliver in the big moments.”

Half Southgate's England squad have never played at a major tournament but captain Harry Kane said that everyone who made the cut deserved their place and there is enough experience in their ranks to be successful in Germany.

Harry Maguire, who has 63 caps, and Jack ­Grealish (36 caps) were among those omitted as Southgate trimmed his squad to 26 players.

“I think we have more than enough experience,” Kane told British media. “Especially a lot of players who have played in two or three tournaments. There are always going to be new players, ­players who deserve to be here.

“For the boys who missed out, it is sad to see them go but ultimately that is what you get playing for England. The manager has to take tough decisions.

“Everyone has earned the right to be here. That is what we have said. Everyone brings something ­different to the team and we are going to need all 26 players if we are going to be successful.”

Bayern Munich forward Kane struggled with a back injury towards the end of the season but returned to play in England's win over Bosnia and Herzegovina last week and the 1-0 loss to Iceland on Friday.

“I am all good,” Kane said of his fitness. “The plan was for me to play 60 minutes against Iceland. It has been a really good camp for me personally in that sense.

“Getting a good week of ­training, 30 minutes [against Bosnia and Herzegovina], a few more days of training, then 60 minutes. I feel really prepared and in a good place.”

England kick off their Group C campaign against Serbia on Sunday, followed by matches against Denmark and Slovenia. 

The tournament kicks off on Friday with the match between hosts Germany and Scotland.

Reuters