Gareth Southgate plans to stay on as England manager for the 2022 World Cup if he feels there is “warmth” for him to continue, though he acknowledged that could depend on his side’s performance at Euro 2020.
England secured their place at next year’s finals with a 7-0 rout of Montenegro last week, before rounding off their qualification campaign in style by beating Kosovo 4-0.
After reaching the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup, the last four of the UEFA Nations League and qualifying for Euro 2020 comfortably at the top of Group A, Southgate conceded his side will now be singled out as one of the teams to beat in the tournament.
And the former Middlesbrough manager is aware how his position could change should England fail to impress next year.
“When you have a week like I’ve had, you sense that people can fall out of love with you and if there isn’t a warmth for you to continue, then that can start to affect the team,” Southgate, who dropped Raheem Sterling from his squad for the clash with Montenegro after the Manchester City forward’s tussle with team-mate Joe Gomez, told reporters.
“So, I’m realistic about how quickly those tides can turn. For me, it’s about what’s next and I know in the end we’ll always be judged ultimately by the tournaments.
“We’ve got to accept that [England are one of the favourites]. We should go in feeling confident about ourselves and, equally, we know there are areas of the game we’ve got to get better at. But I think all the top teams will feel the same.
“The players have the belief and we’ve got to keep giving them that belief, but we don’t tell them lies, we are pretty honest with our appraisals of their performances and the sorts of matches they’re going in to.”
Southgate, however, will still be planning, even if he is uncertain as to whether he will lead England at the Qatar World Cup.
“I think when I started and we looked at other federations, we were almost embarrassed to go and look at where we should be preparing for,” Southgate explained.
“And Germany were always there and they’d already secured the best hotel. So, I think we’ve had to be a bit bolder and say, ‘no, look, it’s not a jinx to go and do it’. We’ve got to have belief in what we’re doing and execute the right preparation.
“Without taking any focus off what we’re doing next summer we’ve got to get the next bit right, otherwise we’ll be behind the curve. I think the best organisations get that short-, mid- and long-term planning right.”