Gareth Southgate would be “disappointed” if he was not linked to Premier League vacancies but the England boss still has objectives he wants to achieve with the Three Lions.
England reached a first World Cup semi-final since Italia ’90 at last year’s tournament in Russia, while they also made the last four of the inaugural Nations League.
Southgate then oversaw England’s qualification for Euro 2020 and his side are among the favourites for European Championship glory.
In a question and answer session with Sky Sports, Southgate – who was in the past linked with the Manchester United job – was asked if a return to Premier League management is of interest.
For now, though, Southgate’s immediate focus remains on the Three Lions.
“I am completely fulfilled in the role, it’s a privilege to be the manager of England. Sometimes in life we are always looking at what’s coming next and not relishing how fortunate we are to be in the position that we are in,” he said.
“I feel like our team can still get better, there are objectives that we still want to achieve. In the future? I know realistically that I’m not going to be England manager in 10 years’ time – I hope to be in six months’ time.
“Somewhere in between that, there is going to be something else. I’d be disappointed if I wasn’t linked with some of those jobs if I’m honest.
“I don’t worry about it because my phone has not been ringing. I think that is because people know that I am committed to the job that I am in.”
— England (@England) December 25, 2019
Being national team manager throws up plenty of challenges and Southgate had to deal with an internal bust-up between Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez during the last international break, with the duo having clashed in Manchester City’s defeat to Liverpool prior to the squad meeting up.
Southgate opted to drop Sterling for the clash against Montenegro before restoring the City forward for their final Euro 2020 qualifier with Kosovo.
The decision to publicly confirm Sterling was dropped drew criticism in some quarters but Southgate feels the squad is more united for having dealt with the incident as a group.
“I think there are situations as a leader, where whatever decision you make will be criticised. There are some situations where there isn’t a perfect solution and you all have to just work things out as a group,” he added.
“Time needs to pass. I have to make a decision that is right for the team first and foremost, and also support both of the players. There are so many people involved in a situation like that – everybody is going to have an opinion. Those that have managed or coached before understand the complexities of any situation like that.
“The most important thing is the team and the performance of the team. We were able to focus internally on the football very quickly and we got the results we needed and both boys got back on the pitch.
“They definitely came closer together and Raheem’s message when Joe got an adverse reaction at Wembley was a really powerful one. I think that bought some closure on the episode.
“We are dealing with young men who are going to be emotional at times. Part of the strength of some of our players is that edge that they have. Through that adversity we are stronger for it.”
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