Gareth Southgate is ready to ‘enjoy the ride’ after signing new deal to extend his stay as England manager until 2024.
Southgate has penned a new contract that will keep him in charge of the Three Lions until after the 2024 European Championship, ending speculation over his future with a commitment to a new deal.
England have made huge progress under the guidance of the 51-year-old in recent years, reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup, before finishing as runners-up to Italy at Euro 2020 – the nation’s first major final since being crowned world champions in 1966.
Southgate has spoken on his delight at agreeing a new contract ahead of what he expects to be an ‘exciting period’ for the national side, who will head to Qatar 2022 amongst the contenders to win an elusive major tournament.
“England has been a massive part of my life. As a supporter, player, manager. I’ve always been aware of the history. They are things that inspired me as a kid. To be in a position to connect people to the team has been very special,” Southgate told a press conference.
“There’s still room to improve and create more memories. Its’ an exciting period. England are in a good place for a number of years to come.”
Southgate admitted it would have been ‘difficult’ to walk away from England given their recent progress, insisting he is relishing the ‘challenge’ of bringing success to the national side.
“I have fortunately been involved in some of the biggest games in football in the past three years. There is nothing that prepares you but you take so much from all of them. It’s the highest level of scrutiny but I think we’ve shown over a period of time a consistency of results that gives us confidence moving forward.
“We are really excited about that challenge. I’d say the biggest thing is to have good people around you.”
On what might come next after his spell as England manager, he added: “Every job I’ve had in football I didn’t know I was going to be doing it until about two weeks before.
“I’m not a big lover of planning a career path. Let’s just enjoy the ride. We’ve enjoyed the challenge and I think that’s the key – you want to be in a role where you can progress, where you are working with good people.”
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