Gareth Southgate ready for anything after pressures of England job

Manager insists there is no job in the world that would 'intimidate or daunt' him after seven years in charge of Three Lions

England manager Gareth Southgate walks past the trophy following the Euro 2024 finals draw in Germany on December 2, 2023. Reuters
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Gareth Southgate has insisted there is no job in world football that would daunt him after the pressures he has experienced being manager of England.

At next summer's Euro 2024 finals in Germany, Southgate will be in charge of England for a fourth consecutive major tournament where his team will again be among the favourites to lift the trophy.

In that time, England reached the last four of the 2018 World Cup, final of the delayed Euro 2020 and quarter-finals at last year's World Cup in Qatar.

The 53-year-old’s current deal with the Football Association expires next December and it is unclear what the future holds.

But after seven years in charge of the Three Lions, Southgate believes he is ready for anything that the football world has to throw at him.

“You're not going to have any higher profile, you're not going to have any greater pressure, you're not going to have any more complex issues,” he said in an interview with Sky Sports.

Southgate's managerial experience at club level is limited to three years in charge of Middlesbrough between 2006 and 2009 where he guided the north-east club to two mid-table Premier League finishes before being relegated in his final season.

He then spent four years coaching England Under-21s before replacing Sam Allardyce as manager of the senior team in October 2016.

“I was 35 years old when I managed in the Premier League and we finished 12th and 13th,” Southgate said.

“I knew nothing like what I know now. There isn’t a job in world football that would intimidate or daunt you, having lived this one.

“Everybody would talk about Middlesbrough. 'Oh, he got Middlesbrough relegated'. Well, yeah, in the third year, we got relegated. But I had three years of Premier League management.

“Without doubt, in my mind, the first season was the biggest achievement I've had, to go from captain/player to managing a multimillion-pound business in the toughest league in the world, and finish pretty much a par finish for where we were budget-wise.

“I'm confident in this role. I'm confident in whatever might be in the future. Of course, I'm not going to be here [at the FA] for 20-30 years. I don't know what the future will be. I'm very calm about that.

“I remember talking to Jose [Mourinho] when he was at Man Utd and he said: 'you know, when you've done the role you're in now, you'll be able to do anything'. Really? I thought that was probably right, but seven years into it, it's definitely right.”

England secured their place in Germany having finished top of their qualifying group, winning six – including a home and away double over reigning champions Italy – and drawing two of their eight matches.

Southgate's side begin their Euro 2024 build-up with Wembley friendlies against Brazil and Belgium in March as they set their sights on lifting what would be only their second major trophy after the 1966 World Cup.

Southgate's side have been drawn in Group C at the finals which will see them take on Serbia, Denmark and then Slovenia – in Gelsenkirchen, Frankfurt and Cologne, respectively.

Updated: December 26, 2023, 1:48 PM