Neville, Wright discuss ‘brilliant’ Southgate’s future and back ‘solid character’ Kane to bounce back

Sportem
Sportem
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Gary Neville and Ian Wright both want Gareth Southgate to stay on as England manager after their heartbreaking World Cup quarter-final defeat to France.

The Three Lions were beaten 2-1 by the reigning world champions on Saturday evening.

Harry Kane canceled out Aurelien Tchouameni’s wonderful opening goal from the penalty spot, before former Arsenal and Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud headed the French back in front.

Kane then stepped up again to try and score another past his Tottenham teammate Hugo Lloris, but he skied the ball over the bar and England were knocked out.

Questions will be asked about Southgate’s future after a bitterly disappointing campaign that looked so promising.

A recent report suggested that defeat against France would not see the 52-year-old lose his job, and this is probably unlikely, though he may want to take a break after six grueling years in charge.

Following the loss, former England internationals Wright and Neville both admitted that they want Southgate to take England into the European Championships in 2024.

Neville told ITV: “Yeah, I would love Gareth to stay on for another two years. I’d love him to stay beyond that whether it be as the coach or in a role in the FA designing the future.

“England in the last ten years have won youth tournaments, we won the woman’s tournament in the summer, we’ve got to the men’s final in the Euros. We’re playing really well, we’ve got good technical players. England are in a pretty good place.

“We’ve gone out of tournaments in the last 25 years in disgrace where you’ve thought what the hell is the future? We’ve got a big future here and he’s a big part of that.”

Wright added: “I agree with Gary. His leadership skills and experience he’s had and what he’s done, one of our most successful managers since Alf Ramsey, and he’s still doing it…

“I just couldn’t see Harry missing it, it’s devastating,” he added.

Former Republic of Ireland and Manchester United captain Roy Keane added: “You’d fully expect Gareth to stay on for the Euros. But obviously, he will have an exit plan in his head, job satisfaction, is he still up for it?

“You look at the players, they’ll be making some big decisions over the next few months, some of the older players.

“He has done a brilliant job but I’m sure he will have to look at his future and his family situation. Does he want to give it another couple of years? Hopefully he does.”

Wright added that he was “so confident” Kane would score his second spot-kick and was “majorly shocked” to not see it go in.

Neville thinks the fallout from the tournament will not be negative and “kinder” and “more appreciative” media in the country can help with that.

“We’ve got a kinder media, we’ve got a more appreciative media,” Neville said. “I think ultimately we will recover well from this tournament.

“Gareth is in a good place, Harry is a solid character. We can be buoyant about England in the future. It’s not all just disappointment tonight.”

Neville added that he felt Brazilian referee Wilton Sampaio was poor on the night.

“The referee had an absolute nightmare,” the former England right-back said. “He was a joke of a referee.

“I’m not saying England’s defeat is all down to that and people might say that is excuses, but he was just a bad referee. Rank bad.”

READ MORE: Every Premier League team’s player of the World Cup features a couple of Argentinian heroes



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