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Southgate lands England job on permanent basis

Gareth Southgate is the new full-time England manager, the Football Association (FA) announced © AFP

LONDON, United Kingdom, Nov 30 – Gareth Southgate was appointed England’s new full-time manager on Wednesday and will lead the national team’s challenge for the 2018 World Cup and 2020 European Championship.

The 46-year-old, who has been in charge of the England squad for four games on a temporary basis, signed a four-year contract, the Football Association (FA) announced.

His deal is reportedly worth £2 million (2.35 million euros, $2.5 million) a year.

Southgate, capped 57 times by England and perhaps most famous for missing a penalty in the Euro ’96 semi-final shootout with eventual champions Germany, replaces Sam Allardyce, who was dismissed after just one game because of controversial remarks to undercover reporters.

He is the first former England international to manage England since Kevin Keegan in 2000.

“I am extremely proud to be appointed England manager. However, I’m also conscious that getting the job is one thing, now I want to do the job successfully,” said Southgate, whose four games in temporary charge yielded two victories and two draws.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with the players over these past four games and I think there’s huge potential.

“I’m determined to give everything I have to give the country a team that they’re proud of and one that they’re going to enjoy watching play and develop. For me, the hard work starts now.”

Martin Glenn, the FA’s chief executive, said Southgate’s previous experience as coach of the Under-21 side was invaluable.

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“We are delighted to confirm Gareth as England manager. He’s obviously somebody we know well but it’s his understanding of international football and the development set-up at St. George’s Park (England’s training centre) that is important,” said Glenn.

“He performed extremely well during the four games he was in temporary charge and he impressed us during a tough interview process.

“Gareth is a great ambassador for what The FA stands for, he’s a very good football tactician and a leader but beneath that he’s a winner and that’s an important part of the job.”

Southgate’s appointment came as little surprise given he was the only known candidate and just months after he ruled himself out of the race to replace Roy Hodgson when he stepped down following England’s humiliating defeat by Iceland at Euro 2016.

Despite a relative lack of managerial experience — a three-year spell at unfashionable Middlesbrough preceding his time in charge of the England Under-21s — he was the unanimous choice of the panel that interviewed him last week and no vote was apparently necessary at the board meeting.

His first match in his new role will come in a friendly against old foes Germany next March followed by a 2018 World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.

England presently top their qualifying group with 10 points after four matches.

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