Eng­land’s in­terim boss Gareth South­gate be­lieves they need lead­ers

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Eng­land need lead­ers as they look to move for­ward fol­low­ing the de­par­ture of man­ager Sam Al­lardyce, said in­terim boss Gareth South­gate yes­ter­day dur­ing a press con­fer­ence.

The 46-year-old va­cated his role as un­der-21s boss to take tem­po­rary charge of the na­tional team last week.

On Sun­day, he named his first squad for the games against Malta and Slove­nia.

He con­firmed that Wayne Rooney will re­main as cap­tain, de­scrib­ing the Manch­ester United for­ward as “the out­stand­ing leader in the group”.

But he added: “We can’t just have one leader, we need a team of lead­ers. That needs to emerge be­fore we head to Rus­sia for the World Cup in 2018.”

When asked about re­tain­ing striker Rooney as cap­tain, he said: “Wayne bears a big bur­den for this team. Too much at times.

“Af­ter a pe­riod of change over the sum­mer and now this month, the most im­por­tant thing at this time is lead­er­ship, both on and off the field, and Wayne has pro­vided that over the last two years.

“The way he has ma­tured into the role is re­ally im­pres­sive and there was no doubt in my mind about keep­ing him in that po­si­tion.”

South­gate was ap­pointed as Eng­land man­ager for the next four games, with a view to po­ten­tially seal­ing the job on a per­ma­nent ba­sis if pos­i­tive re­sults fol­low.

His stint in­cludes three World Cup qual­i­fiers, one of which is next Satur­day’s clash against Malta and an­other against ri­vals Scot­land, and a friendly against Spain at the end of Novem­ber.

“The op­por­tu­nity to do this is some­thing no one will be able to take away from me, and I’m ex­cited by the chal­lenge,” he added.

“In my view it’s a won­der­ful job to have for what­ever pe­riod of time.

“The work­ings of the last week have been al­most iden­ti­cal to run­ning the U21s. Yes, the pro­file is greater and the play­ers a bit older, but if I was comparing it to tak­ing over at Mid­dles­brough when ev­ery­thing was new, this has been far, far calmer.

“I’ve been able to look for­ward to it with a lot more ex­cite­ment.”

Eng­land in­terim man­ager Gareth South­gate

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