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England is my only focus, stresses Southgate

The national team manager is under contract until 2022.

Gareth Southgate’s reputation has soared during his time as England manager (John Walton/PA).
Gareth Southgate’s reputation has soared during his time as England manager (John Walton/PA).

By Jonathan Veal, PA

Gareth Southgate has stressed his commitment to England amid speculation linking him with a return to the Premier League.

Southgate’s reputation has soared during his role as Three Lions boss, having led them to their best World Cup performance in 28 years and now taken them to the verge of Euro 2020 qualification.

A newspaper report last week claimed Tottenham were lining Southgate up to replace Mauricio Pochettino and, given the club’s woeful week, which has included a Champions League thrashing by Bayern Munich and comprehensive Premier League defeat to Brighton, that is a link that might not go away in a hurry.

I’m the England manager and it’s a massive privilege to do the job. There’s a lot of work to do here with the team Gareth Southgate

The 49-year-old, who has been out of club management for a decade since leaving Middlesbrough in 2009, is under contract with his country until after the 2022 World Cup and has nailed his colours to the mast.

He said: “You go to bed Saturday night and you wake up Sunday morning and the agenda’s set.

“Look, I’ve said in the summer, I’m not somebody that needs to hedge my bets and needs to play cleverly and say, ‘I’ll keep this door open, that door open’.

“I’m the England manager and it’s a massive privilege to do the job. There’s a lot of work to do here with the team.

“We think the team can continue to improve, and until I’m told otherwise, 2022 is my contract, and that’s it.”

PA

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