Gareth South­gate set to be named Eng­land coach

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Gareth South­gate will re­main in charge of Eng­land's na­tional team.

An English Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion panel has de­cided to hire South­gate as Sam Al­lardyce's per­ma­nent suc­ces­sor, peo­ple with knowl­edge of the sit­u­a­tion said yes­ter­day. They spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause they are not au­tho­rized to dis­cuss the de­ci­sion be­fore the FA board rat­i­fies the ap­point­ment on Wed­nes­day at the na­tional team's St. Ge­orge's Park base in cen­tral Eng­land.

South­gate was hastily pro­moted from the under-21 team in Septem­ber when Al­lardyce was forced out after one game over un­guarded com­ments to un­der­cover re­porters pos­ing as busi­ness­men. The FA be­lieved that dam­aged the coach's in­tegrity.

South­gate was un­beaten in his four games as in­terim coach, win­ning two World Cup qual­i­fiers (Scot­land and Malta), draw­ing another (Slove­nia) and also draw­ing a friendly with Spain. Eng­land leads its 2018 World Cup qual­i­fy­ing group by two points.

South­gate is ex­pected to sign a con­tract, with a 2018 break clause, through to the 2020 Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship, which will have the semi­fi­nals and fi­nal staged at Wem­b­ley Sta­dium.

The 46-year-old South­gate was a de­fender in the Eng­land side that reached the Euro '96 semi­fi­nals at Wem­b­ley and missed the de­ci­sive penalty in the shootout against Ger­many. The coun­try has only won one ti­tle in its his­tory — the 1966 World Cup on home soil.

South­gate will take over a team still pick­ing up the pieces from a dis­mal Euro 2016 cam­paign which saw Eng­land hum­bled by tour­na­ment new­comer Ice­land in the round of 16. The loss ended Roy Hodg­son's ten­ure as coach.

Although South­gate has spent three years within the FA, he is one of the least ex­pe­ri­enced first­team man­agers to be en­trusted with one of the most high-pro­file jobs in world soc­cer. His only top man­age­rial role with Mid­dles­brough ended in 2009 after three years.

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