Prospect of Euro 2020 glory for England driving Gareth Southgate on during tough times

Simon Collings
·2-min read
Southgate: 'We know what Jamie can do, we know the personality he brings to the group.' (Getty Images)
Southgate: 'We know what Jamie can do, we know the personality he brings to the group.' (Getty Images)

Gareth Southgate says the prospect of guiding England to glory at next summer’s Euros is getting him through the tough times.

The England boss enjoyed a dream run with the Three Lions at the 2018 World Cup, helping them reach the semi-finals.

More recently, however, Southgate has had to deal with a number of off-field issues - including Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood’s Covid-19 breach in Iceland earlier this year.

England are now due to take on Iceland again on Wednesday, this time at home, and ahead of the match Southgate admitted the prospect of success with the Three Lions at a major tournament is driving him on.

“I came into this job with eyes wide open,” said Southgate.

“I lived through watching Graham Taylor, Bobby Robson, Kevin Keegan - what they want through on a personal level, the abuse they suffered, the questions they faced.

“But also I have seen when Bobby got the team to a World Cup semi-final and what an incredible high that was for the country.

“I played in ’96, when we got to the only European Championship semi-final we’ve been to. What an amazing feeling that was.

“You’ve got to focus on what it could be - rather than the difficult parts. That’s going to come with any job. Every job of work has days where it is hard and you’ve got to dig in.

AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images

“Life is difficult. If you are talking to a group of kids, they’ve got to have the resilience to get through those days. Not every day at work is going to be huge fun and everything going in your favour.

“It is the moments where you learn the most about yourself and about everything else. They are the character-forming areas where you improve really.

“It is easier to manage when everything is going quite smoothly. When you keep getting all these curveballs that we have had, that’s of course extremely complicated, but you have got to find a way through it and you’ll be better for the experience.”

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