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Gareth Southgate given FA backing after Hungary defeat and tough run of results - The Athletic

The Football Association have spoken to Gareth Southgate and given him their backing after England's difficult run of results over the recent...

  • Posted on 21st Jun, 2022 11:19 AM
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Gareth Southgate given FA backing after Hungary defeat and tough run of results - The Athletic Image

The Football Association have spoken to Gareth Southgate and given him their backing after England's difficult run of results over the recent international break.

England fell to their worst home defeat for 94 years when they lost 4-0 to Hungary earlier this month. They also lost to Hungary away and drew against Italy and Germany in their Nations League clashes, leaving them bottom of their group.

Southgate, who led England to the Euro 2020 final and the World Cup semi-final in 2018, was vocally criticised at Molineux in Wolverhampton.

But the FA are fully behind the manager. Chairwoman Debbie Hewitt said: "The first thing I’d say, my personal opinion on Gareth he is by and facts on the pitch the most successful England manager we’ve had for 55 years.

"The fact he’s taken us to a World Cup semi-final and a Euros final. The bit people don’t see as much is the Gareth at camp and the culture he’s created.

"Certainly prior to Gareth being the manager of England there was not the pride of wearing the England shirt.

"There were the club rivalries we’d read about. The players not getting on. He’s changed that beyond recognition and I’ve seen that first hand.

"I’d also say, I don’t just work in football I work in business and I’ve worked with a lot of chief executives and Gareth’s skills — his high IQ and high EQ — would make him a chief exec in any sphere. And that resilience and accountability, the two qualities I admire most about him, is he takes the accountability, there’s no slopey shoulders, he doesn’t huff, he’s resilient and that’s what you want in an England manager.”

Asked whether she'd spoken to Southgate to reassure him, she added: “Absolutely I’ve spoken to him, yes.

“Gareth’s reaction, as in everything with that sort of conversation, was that it is his accountability, there’s always something to learn. That’s why it’s refreshing working with somebody like that because that openness to learn is quite remarkable and quite unusual in any sphere."

Southgate signed a two-year extension to his contract in November last year, tying him to the job until 2024.

And Hewitt insisted it was still the right decision: "Clearly we did that with proper discussion and thought. The fact that there’s been a stumble does not make us automatically say, 'Should we have given him a contract?'.

"It is a red herring. We have confidence in Gareth for all the reasons I described and I think that’s the important thing. And it’s particularly important going into the biggest tournament."

Gareth Southgate given FA backing after Hungary defeat and tough run of results - The Athletic View Story

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