England caretaker manager Gareth Southgate insists the next national team coach must be given time to develop a lasting philosophy for success rather than merely tasked with hitting short-term targets.
Southgate goes into the final fixture of his four-match audition for the job against Spain on Tuesday as the favourite to land the role, having steered England to seven points from three World Cup qualifiers.
The erstwhile England Under-21 manager, handed control of the senior team following the abrupt departure of Sam Allardyce in September, insists he has refused to play it safe since taking the reins.
Southgate, who cited Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino as an influence, is adamant that whoever the Football Association appoints ought to be afforded freedom to nurture a way of playing if England are to catch up with the likes of world champions Germany or their decorated opponents for tonight’s friendly at Wembley.
“What’s the challenge? I think continuity,” said the 46-year-old, who enhanced his claims with a 3-0 win over Scotland on Friday.
“It would be easy for us the other night to have said ‘okay, we’ve got three games, we have to win this match, we’re going to go solid, soak up pressure, hit teams on the break, play all of the experienced players and not try anything’.
"Or we could do what we did: try to build from the back, play with some risk, and involve some younger players who we think are going to be the future, and look longer term.
“After this, someone will be appointed for a period of time and then you let them build. I think that’s the challenge for any club or organisation.
"If a manager always feels that pressure, he won’t always put the young players in.
“That’s why I have to admire Mauricio [Pochettino]. He puts [20-year-old] Harry Winks into a north London derby with 10 minutes to go at 1-1.
"It’s not just giving a youngster a game; he gives him belief and confidence that he has faith in him. For me, that's always the way.”
FA should speak to several candidates
Southgate, who said striker Wayne Rooney would not start and that midfielder Jordan Henderson would captain England against Spain, reiterated that he hoped the FA would make decide on his candidacy before Christmas but urged his employers to speak to a number of potential managers before making an appointment.
“I think it’s right for everybody to reflect,” he added. “You should take your time, see what fits with your philosophy, speak to all of the people you want to speak to because, who knows, someone might emerge who you don’t know so much about.”