Southgate: I had to step up

Gareth Southgate says it was important for stability and continuity that he stepped into the void left by the sacking of Sam Allardyce as England manager.

Allardyce stepped away from his dream job in disgrace after just 67 days having been filmed telling undercover reporters how to circumvent player transfer rules.

Southgate, who has been in charge of the England under-21 team since August 2013, had initially turned down an opportunity to take over from previous England manager Roy Hodgson but will now step up for matches against Malta, Slovenia, Scotland and Spain.

"The future is certainly bright for this England team," he told reporters.

"It's obviously been a difficult situation for the FA but it was important that there was some stability and continuity for everybody.

"So, from my point of view, it was important to step forward and give us the best possible chance to win these games.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge and I'm confident that we can get good results. We have an excellent group of players."

Arsene Wenger and Jurgen Klinsmann are two managers who names have been mentioned for the England job but both appeared to have distanced themselves from the position.

Wenger told BT Sport: "I am focused 100% on Arsenal and my priority will always be to this club. I will have to assess how well I do until the end of the season."

USA boss Klinsmann wrote on his Twitter account that there was no truth to the rumours regarding England.