Belfast Telegraph

England chief Southgate gives full backing to new competition

By Jim van Wijk

England manager Gareth Southgate feels the Uefa Nations League will bring a "real buzz" back to international football.

Following yesterday's draw in Lausanne, England will be in Group Four of League A, alongside Spain and Croatia.

Scotland will play in League C and were drawn into Group One with Albania and Israel.

Southgate is confident the new venture can prove a success, both on and off the pitch.

"I think there's a real buzz about it because the top level teams want competitive games and the teams in the other leagues get a realistic challenge too," the England manager said.

"If you're one of the smaller nations there's no point losing heavily, regularly, against better teams so how do you develop?

"You play in competitive games where you might start to win more and gain confidence that way, which is important for their development as a country.

"And there's a carrot there for them to qualify for the finals too."

Meanwhile, Stewart Regan has revealed the Scottish Football Association will consider several fresh candidates who put themselves forward for the Scotland job since Michael O'Neill's snub.

Regan said: "There was a compensation package to be put together. The package we put together was very, very competitive, a significant investment from the Scottish FA, and that took time for our board to get comfortable with.

"We had said at the outset when Gordon Strachan left that we were in no rush. We don't have a competitive match until September and therefore we wanted to make sure we took time to create the right package and put our best case forward."

Belfast Telegraph

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