Southgate unconcerned about future as England manager

England interim manager Gareth Southgate said he is more concerned about England staying atop the Group F standings for World Cup qualification than his own future. 

Southgate was called in to replace Sam Allardyce for four games following the latter’s brief tenure as manager. 

With the World Cup qualifier against Scotland and an international friendly against Spain next week being Southgate’s final two matches, there has been speculation that he could remain in the role on a permanent basis. 

However, Southgate made it clear that he has more pressing matters on his mind, saying: “What's important is that the team is top of the qualifying group going into Christmas and that the country is in a good place with that. 

“Then there is time for whatever process is going to happen to take place. For me, that is what is right for the organisation, going through the process talking to who they want to talk to. 

“I have not discussed what happens next. I've got meetings in the diary about what happens next with all the age groups through to Christmas and January. I've not thought too much about that either. The period up to Christmas is a little quieter which gives people time to do the planning for next year.”

Whether he becomes England’s permanent manager or is succeeded by someone else, Southgate admitted that he will always treasure the experience of managing the national team as it was something he wanted to do since he started coaching. 

“I have really enjoyed it,' he said. “It's a great honour. I've played for my country, I've got the chance to manage the best players in the country in an England-Scotland game on Friday night. Wow. For me, that's incredibly exciting.

“As a coach you want to work with good players . What's clear in my mind for this week is the areas you want to work with from last time. That should always be ongoing. That should always be our analysis. So, yes, I've enjoyed it and I intend to embrace this opportunity.”