Gareth Southgate needs time to reflect before signing a new England deal

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England boss Gareth Southgate says he needs time to reflect before signing a new contract.

The Three Lions were beaten on penalties by Italy in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley on Sunday night.

Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham said during the tournament that he wants to hand Southgate a new deal.

But Southgate told a press conference on Monday: “I don’t think now is an appropriate time to think about anything.

“We have got to qualify for Qatar but I need some time to go away and watch the game and reflect on the whole tournament, I need a rest.

“It is amazing experience but to lead your country in these tournaments takes its toll and I need a break now.”

Italy v England – UEFA Euro 2020 Final – Wembley Stadium
Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma saves from England’s Bukayo Saka as the Euro 2020 final went Italy’s way (Mike Egerton/PA)

The 50-year-old continued: “I said at the time it is great to have that internal support, you greatly value that as a manager.

“I don’t want to commit to anything longer than I should and I don’t want to outstay my welcome so all of those things need consideration.

“I want to take the team to Qatar, I feel we have made progress over the four years, we have had a fourth, a third and a second-placed finish and that is as good as anyone.”

England v Denmark – UEFA Euro 2020 – Semi Final – Wembley Stadium
England impressed en route to the final (Mike Egerton/PA)

“I know in time we will have an appreciation of that and I know the messages we are getting underline that,” continued Southgate.

“But when you are in sport and you get to a final you know those opportunities are rare and to be so close and to know what that has taken and know you have to pick up and go again, that is very hard the day after.

“We will go again of course.”

“I don’t see that really, we got to a final for the first time in 55 years,” he said. “I am not really sure…you’re not a nice team to get to a final.

“We have overcome a lot of hurdles that we have been unable to in the past.

“If we had been torn apart or been a mess then I might look at it differently. It is easy to throw theories around at the end of any tournament, but it is important to analyse correctly when you are a coach, I don’t want to go along with theories that I don’t think are correct.”

Southgate said that ensuring his players were supported after the penalty heartbreak was “top of his thinking” in the hours after the final.

“We’ve got to make sure that we’re there, and aligned with their club, and making sure that we look after those boys, absolutely.”

Euro 2020 Preview Package
England reached the semi-final of the 2018 World Cup under Southgate (Tim Goode/PA)

He added: “Russia was the beginning, we had seven in the starting team from Russia and that experience has been critical through the big matches in this tournament.

“So to add the young players in at the time we did, there is another group with more learning and understanding.

“Because of what they have been though in these two tournaments they will have a belief that they can get close.

“The cycle and the expectation of the group will know what’s needed to get to the level to get to win and that should be a process that stands us in good stead.”

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