Ham­mers’ Antonio tips South­gate for Lions

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports International Football - ENG­LAND

LON­DON/ Gareth South­gate’s unique re­la­tion­ship with play­ers in the Eng­land set-up makes him the right man for the job, West Ham United mid­fielder Michail Antonio has said. South­gate was in charge of the un­der-21 side be­fore tak­ing over the se­nior role on an in­terim ba­sis for four matches fol­low­ing the sack­ing of Sam Al­lardyce.

Un­der South­gate, Eng­land beat Malta and Scot­land, and drew with Slove­nia in World Cup qual­i­fiers be­fore draw­ing 2-2 in a friendly against Spain ear­lier this month. “I feel he does look like the right man for the job. He’s young enough to bond with the boys and he’s got a re­la­tion­ship with quite a few of the boys through the un­der-21s,” Antonio, who was in­cluded in one Eng­land squad, told Bri­tish me­dia. “We haven’t had that for the last few years, some­one who is young, who has ac­tu­ally got a re­la­tion­ship with the boys be­fore he’s met them so he knows what to do with them, and it shows be­cause he’s do­ing well.”

Antonio joins a grow­ing list of play­ers, which in­clude mid­field­ers Jor­dan Hen­der­son and Adam Lal­lana, who have pub­licly backed South­gate for the Eng­land job. “I’d say he’s a great tac­ti­cian. He wants us to play and the way he trusts the play­ers, he be­lieves the boys can do it, that they are good enough to do it,” Antonio added. “To play for Eng­land you have to be qual­ity so it’s just about work­ing out the kinks.”

Eng­land in­terim man­ager Gareth South­gate in the stands. /REUTERS

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