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Euro 2024: Southgate hints at England exit if Three Lions don’t triumph in Germany

The 53-year-old has been in the job for eight years and has been linked with Manchester United

Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate has admitted he probably won’t remain as England manager if his side fail to win Euro 2024.

The Three Lions arrived in Germany yesterday as one of the tournament favourites and looking to go one better than their runners-up finish on home soil three years ago.

Southgate took over following England’s woeful showing at Euro 2016 – and following Sam Allardyce’s short reign – and has presided over a period of relative improvement, also reaching the World Cup semi-final in 2018 and the quarters four years later in Qatar.

He still has his critics, however, with some England fans accusing him of a cautious approach that has held the team back.

Speaking in an interview with German publication Bild, the 53-year-old admitted it was now or never as England attempt to claim their first piece of silverware since 1966.

He said: “If we don’t win [the tournament], I probably won’t be here anymore. Maybe it was the last chance.

“I think about half of the national team coaches go after a tournament – this is the nature of international football.”

Why does he feel it may be time to go?

Southgate’s contract is due to expire in December and he has been heavily linked with the Manchester United job should the club’s internal review conclude that Erik ten Hag is not the man to take them forward.

He added: “I have been here for almost eight years now and we’ve been close.

“But I know that you can’t constantly stand in front of the public and say ‘please a little more’, because at some point people will lose faith in your message.

“If you want to be a top coach, then you have to deliver in the big moments.”

Southgate almost stood down after the defeat to France at the 2022 World Cup and he explained why a new contract was not sorted before Euro 2024.

“The reason is there would have been more criticism, which would have led to more pressure on the team,” he said.

“England have done this before with Fabio Capello [before the 2010 World Cup] and there was a big drama before the tournament. You should always evaluate afterwards.”

England start their campaign against Serbia in Gelsenkirchen on Sunday.

Picture of Jon Fisher

Jon Fisher

Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.