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Southgate uses personal criticism as ‘fuel’ to lead England to Euro 2024 glory

Gareth Southgate is using his criticism during England’s run to the semi-finals of Euro 2024 as a “brass” to take the team to great success.

England did not play well in Germany, but they still reached the last four – the third time Southgate has led the Three Lions at this stage in the last four major tournaments – when they face the Netherlands on Wednesday night.

The England manager has been heavily criticized for his tactics and his choices and his team’s struggle to speak well, a point that was also evident when they beat Switzerland on penalties on Saturday.

Southgate even had mugs of beer thrown at him following the draw with Slovenia, but says it’s all down to leading his country to their first major trophy since 1966.

He said: “Look, I can’t deny that some of it is of a personal nature, you know… this is a job where you’re being teased, and your ability to do the job is unimaginably questioned, and I don’t think it’s normal to have a beer. to be thrown with you.

“But, I am lucky that my life has given me many things to build strength that makes me determined and I use it as fuel. I know where I want to take the team, and the team needs to see me strong even in those moments, otherwise the message you give them about what you should be, is not true.”

England are not satisfied with the semi-final

No other England manager has had the consistent success Southgate has enjoyed but he believes the players are not satisfied with a semi-final place and sees a determination to move forward.

“I think the difference is that we reached the quarter-finals, we are satisfied with that, so there is a change of mindset in what we feel is acceptable as a team, where we want to be perfect,” he said.

“Now inside that is a playoff ball, the penalties are good as we have seen again [against Switzerland]that can easily go the other way and it’s a different story but those teams who have consistently won, have that mentality, they are not satisfied with entering the quarter-finals, they push and that’s what we have to do. go ahead.

“It’s not where we want it to be, you don’t want to talk too much about that. It is an unusual achievement even in successful countries but these boys have shown more than just being able to play. Also, navigation competitions, you need many other qualities. “

Southgate hopes England can continue to challenge

Southgate is likely to step down when his contract expires in December – or perhaps earlier – but he thinks the embattled side can continue to challenge after he leaves.

He added: “It’s that tenacity, it’s that ability to stay strong when you’re behind in games, or when the pressure is against you, we won three out of four penalties, all those little things build character, build faith.”

“Given the age of the squad and the experience they have now, they’ll have that belief for a long time, it should put England in a good place, but that’s the future – we’ve got a good week ahead of us.”

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