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Southgate ‘wants to be loved’ after leading England to Euro 2024 final

Gareth Southgate has admitted ‘we all want to be loved’ after leading England to the final of Euro 2024.

England beat the Netherlands 2-1 in Dortmund to set up a final with Spain this weekend, with Ollie Watkins scoring a 90th-minute winner at the Westfalenstadion.

The Three Lions are into their second successive European Championship final and a first tournament decider overseas, where Spain await in Berlin to determine this summer’s champions.

 

Southgate hailed a special night and believes his team have given England fans ‘some of the best nights in the last 50 years’ during his reign.

“I took the job to try to improve English football and we’re now in a second final. The last one was the first in over 50 years. We’re now in a first one oversees,” said Southgate at his post-match press conference.

“We’re giving people amazing nights. We’ve given our supporters some of the best nights in the last 50 years. I’m hugely proud of that.

“I’m delighted if everyone at home is feeling the way we are and the way those in the stadium were. But we’re not finished.

“We’ve got the greatest possible test to prepare for. We came here to try to win the tournament and that’s still our aim.”

Southgate has faced criticism during the tournament with England’s fortuitous run to the final having seen his tactics targeted. The 53-year-old said he hopes to feel the love from England fans after reaching another major final.

“We all want to be loved, right? When you’re doing something for your country, you’re a proud Englishman – you don’t feel that back and all you read is criticism, it’s hard,” said Southgate.

“To be able to celebrate a second final is very special. If I had not been on the grass, I would have been watching and celebrating like [the fans] were.

 

“I’m the one that has to pick a team so to be able to give them a night like tonight was very special.

“We have come here to win and play the team who have been the best in the tournament [in the final]. But we’re still here and fighting.”

Read – Southgate singles out midfielder key to ‘special’ England win

See more – England hero reflects on non-league rise to Euros final

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Rotimi
Rotimi
11 days ago

Good job. But please do not start Kane in the final, if you want to win it.

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