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Southgate ‘needs a rest’ after Euros amid talk of new England contract


England suffered heartbreak in the final of Euro 2020 on Sunday night as they were beaten by Italy on penalties at Wembley Stadium.

Attention now turns to the World Cup, which will be in Qatar next year, and Southgate says he wants to lead England at it.

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He is contracted until after that tournament, but FA chief executive Mark Bullingham confirmed last month he wants to extend Southgate’s deal.

“I don’t think now’s an appropriate time to think about anything. We’ve got of course to qualify for Qatar but I need some time to go away, watch, watch last night’s game again, reflect on the whole tournament,” said Southgate.

“It’s amazing experience but, you know, to lead your country, in these tournament’s is takes its toll and, you know, I need a break now. As I said at the time it was great to have that internal support, you hugely value that as a manager.

“But also there’s a lot to think through, it’s not about finance in any way or commitment, I don’t want to commit to anything longer than I should and I never want to outstay my welcome. It’s one of those things that need consideration before even thinking about sitting down and talking but as I sit here today I would want to be taking the team to Qatar, I feel that we’ve made progress over the four years.

“We’ve had a fourth place, third place in a second place, it’s probably as good as any other team in Europe bar those that have won the tournament’s themselves but for consistency, it’s right up there.

“So, a lot of things we’ve done right and we know this team isn’t at its peak yet but that doesn’t guarantee winning because we know how difficult it is to get back to the state we’ve got two last night. That’s why it’s so painful to get so close.”

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