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“I need this time to think”

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Gareth Southgate has remained coy about his future as England boss saying he will hold talks with the FA following the loss to France.

The 52-year-old insists he ‘needs time to reflect’ on whether to continue after the heartbreaking 2-1 World Cup quarter-final defeat.

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Southgate admitted he needed time to think about his future in England

Harry Kane canceled out Aurélien Tchouameni’s opener with a 54th-minute penalty to become the Three Lions’ joint-top scorer.

And he then got a second kick to equalize after Olivier Giroud headed the defending champions in front.

But he failed to become England’s top scorer ahead of Wayne Rooney after kicking his attempt 12 yards over the bar.

Attention immediately turned to Southgate’s future in England, despite his contract expiring at the end of 2024.

Under Southgate’s tutelage, England have reached the 2018 World Cup semi-finals, the Euro 2020 final and now the quarter-finals in Qatar.

But the former Middlesbrough manager has told talkSPORT England correspondent Faye Carruthers that painful major tournament defeats are having an effect on him.

England pulled out of the quarter-finals after losing 2-1 to France

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England pulled out of the quarter-finals after losing 2-1 to France


Commenting on his future, Southgate said: “I have always been fully focused on this tournament, and after each tournament we needed time to reflect.

“These tournaments take a lot of your energy and I think it’s right after every tournament to sit down with the FA and discuss things and see where everything is.

“Because it’s important to make the right decisions for everyone.”

Pressed to know if emotion will play a role in his decision: “I think that’s why we have to take time, because tonight is not the time to make decisions.

It was once again the heartache of penalties for the Three Lions in a major tournament

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It was once again the heartache of penalties for the Three Lions in a major tournament

“So it hurts, you’ve been working for four years to get to a World Cup and you think you have a team that can really fight and win.

“And of course when you get so close at this point it’s hard to take at the moment so I need this time to think.”

Speaking of his players who once again performed valiantly, he remarked: “They were an absolute credit throughout and they were the same tonight.

“Of course, we missed some key opportunities. We have conceded goals that we shouldn’t concede, but that will happen in any game of football.

“But I was proud to have led them throughout this tournament. I think they improved throughout.

“The younger players have announced themselves on the world stage, the more experienced players have been fantastic in bonding with the group.

“Tonight the words feel a bit hollow because there’s not much I can say to uplift anyone.”

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