“Fu­ture bright for Eng­land”

Fiji Sun - - Sports -

London: Gareth South­gate said it was “im­por­tant to step for­ward” and take charge of Eng­land fol­low­ing Sam Al­lardyce’s de­par­ture as man­ager. For­mer de­fender South­gate steps up from the Un­der-21 job and will lead the se­nior team for the next four games.

Al­lardyce left his post on Tues­day fol­low­ing a news­pa­per in­ves­ti­ga­tion claim­ing he of­fered ad­vice on how to “get around” rules on player trans­fers.

“The fu­ture is cer­tainly bright for this Eng­land team,” said South­gate. His de­ci­sion is a U-turn from June, when the 46-year-old had no in­ter­est in suc­ceed­ing Roy Hodg­son as boss of the se­nior team. South­gate has man­aged the U21s since 2013 and was pre­vi­ously in charge of Mid­dles­brough from 2006 to 2009. Af­ter step­ping down, for­mer Bolton, West Ham and Sun­der­land man­ager Al­lardyce said “en­trap­ment had won” and his ac­tions were a “silly thing to do”.

South­gate added: “It’s ob­vi­ously been a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion for the FA but it was im­por­tant that there was some sta­bil­ity and con­ti­nu­ity for ev­ery­body. “So, from my point of view, it was im­por­tant to step for­ward and give us the best pos­si­ble chance to win these games. “I’m look­ing for­ward to the chal­lenge and I’m con­fi­dent that we can get good re­sults. We have an ex­cel­lent group of play­ers.” Mean­while, Arsene Wenger again com­mit­ted his fu­ture to Arse­nal af­ter spec­u­la­tion link­ing him with the post. Wenger, 66, said in July he would “never rule it out” but the French­man in­sisted he will re­main at Emi­rates Sta­dium. “I am fo­cused 100 per cent on Arse­nal and my pri­or­ity will al­ways be to this club,” Gun­ners boss Wenger told BT Sport. “I will have to as­sess how well I do un­til the end of the sea­son.” For­mer Eng­land striker Michael Owen be­lieves the full­time job is South­gate’s to lose. “If he wins all four games it will take a brave man to say ‘let’s change it now’,” said Owen. “Pos­ses­sion is nine tenths of the law, isn’t it? BBC Sports

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