Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn has described Gareth Southgate as being in a “strong position” to fill the England’s manager’s role on a permanent basis – although he said other candidates may still be interviewed.
Southgate stepped up from Under-21s boss to take charge of the senior team on an interim basis for the games with Malta, Slovenia, Scotland and Spain following Sam Allardyce’s departure after he was caught out by a newspaper sting.
Those four games have returned two draws and two wins with Southgate gaining plenty of praise for the way his team has performed.
It was widely expected he would be named this week as Allardyce’s long-term successor but Glenn says the process may take longer than expected.
He told Sky Sports News: “We have got time. We have until mid-March for our next game so doing a thorough job is very important.
“That said, Gareth is in a strong position, not just because the four games have shown a lot of encouragement but the fact he has worked for the FA for many years, worked with the Under-21s and understands how the international football set-up works.
“We are going to have discussions with him over the coming weeks to discover what his learnings are, his ambition for the England team and really understand that and then take a considered view.”
Asked if the FA would interview other candidates, Glenn added: “Potentially. It is an interview process but we have to be discreet.”
After admitting for the first time that Southgate was keen to take the job on a permanent basis, Glenn said the former Middlesbrough manager had impressed in a temporary capacity.
“Had we lost to Scotland, Gareth would still be a strong contender for the job, you can’t appoint a manager on the basis of 90 minutes or 180 minutes,” he said.
“We’ve been impressed by Gareth for a while because he’s a great guy. He has come into the England set-up at St George’s Park, and it’s a credit to the FA that we moved from having to replace Sam Allardyce quickly and seamlessly moved Gareth into that role.
“We have succession. The fact he’s been able to apply his international experience to the senior set-up doesn’t surprise me but we’ve still been really pleased by the type of results we’ve got and, in particular against Spain, the football we’ve played.”