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Gareth Southgate: FA will back new England manager even if he flops at Russia 2018, says chief exec Martin Glenn

Joe Hall
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Gareth Southgate Martin Glenn England football manager The FA
Glenn: We will support Gareth in the long-term (Source: Getty)

New England manager Gareth Southgate will be backed by the Football Association even if his side flop at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, according to chief executive Martin Glenn.

The FA chief said he did not include a break clause in Southgate’s four-year contract, believed to be worth £6m, because he wants the manager to plan for long-term success with a young England team.

Southgate secured the role after impressing the FA in his four-game trial as interim manager following Sam Allardyce’s dismissal and in a three-year stint as England Under-21 boss.

“I wanted and I had a mandate from the board to offer a four year contract,” said Glenn.

“We’ve actually got quite a young squad. We need time to see that squad’s potential to develop and be nurtured. I think we’ll do very well in Russia but in the hypothetical event that we didn’t I think it’s important to support Gareth for the longer term to 2020 and hopefully beyond.

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“It was important to reflect that [in the contract].”

Southgate, who confirmed that Wayne Rooney would be his captain but not a guaranteed starter, believes his job is to help a young group of players improve over his tenure.

“There’s no break clause,” he said. “We have a group of players that I think over the next three or four years are going to develop a lot and we want to build on that.”

“So it’s important to look at not just the short term results but what we’re trying to do over the long term both with the senior team and the junior teams.”

Southgate saw over two wins and two draws as interim England manager, with last month’s 3-0 dismissal of Scotland and an impressive 2-2 draw with Spain in which his team was denied a win by goals in the 89th and 96th minutes.

The former Middlesbrough manager, whose first games in his new role are a friendly against world champions Germany in Dortmund on Wednesday March 22 and a World Cup qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley four days later, said the two months as interim boss have given him a taste of the responsibilities and pressures of the role.

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“I’ve had a great insight over the last few weeks into what the job entails, very aspect of it,” the 46-year-old said.

“I don’t think any job is impossible. I said a few weeks ago that some jobs are more difficult than others, some are more complex. This is certainly one of those. It’s of great interest to everybody and that comes with a great responsibility.

“I’m ready to embrace that. I feel I’ve had that throughout my career in the different roles I’ve been in and now is a great moment to step forward to help lead our country through what could be a really exciting period.”

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