United States head coach Gregg Berhalter has, late on Thursday, opened up on his relationship with England counterpart Gareth Southgate.
The upcoming 2nd round of World Cup group stage fixtures is of course set to see the United States pit their talents against the might of the Three Lions.
After surrendering an early advantage on opening day to eventually depart from a meeting with Wales with a share of the spoils, Berhalter and co. will be well aware that an improved display will be required if they hope to keep the nation’s unbeaten record intact at England’s expense.
This comes after the latter sent out a signal of intent en route to putting six past Iran earlier in the week.
Ahead of what is set to prove a real litmus test for his oft-criticised side, Gregg Berhalter, in turn, held a press conference as part of his media duties in Qatar late on Thursday evening.
A whole host of topics were put to the tactician, with one of particular note having come in the form of his relationship with Gareth Southgate.
Berhalter was first full of praise for his counterpart in the England dugout, in explaining:
“Just following some of the things over the last months, the pressure in the English media and in England in general is tremendous and that’s different. These guys [the American media] give me a hard time every once in a while but it’s not of the magnitude that Gareth gets.
“But we all know this is a results-orientated business and he’s done a great job on the field. I’ve been saying it for the last year-and-a-half, his record in major tournaments has been outstanding, there’s no denying that. Fourth place in 2018, second-place finish at the Euros. He’s done a great job with his team and they got off to a great start, they’re a formidable opponent. It’s going to be a tough game for us.”
And, from here, the US’ boss confirmed that he does in fact have a personal relationship with Southgate, albeit one which has been on a temporary ‘hiatus’ of late, owing to England’s headmaster ignoring his WhatsApp messages:
“I’ve been Whatsapping him but I haven’t seen the blue tick mark so I don’t know what’s going on!,” Berhalter joked.
“No, we kind of took a little hiatus but we’ll pick up our relationship after tomorrow.”