Southgate is raring to go

Gareth Southgate visiting PlayFootball in Ingol in 2015

Gareth Southgate visiting PlayFootball in Ingol in 2015

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Gareth Southgate declared “the hard work starts now” after his long-anticipated appointment as England manager was sealed with a four-year deal.

The 46-year-old was the only candidate interviewed by the FA after making a positive impression during a four-match stint as interim boss and was confirmed as Sam Allardyce’s successor on Wednesday afternoon following a board meeting at St George’s Park.

Southgate’s three years in charge of the under-21s mean he is well versed with the England set-up and staff and has also worked extensively with many of the current squad, qualifications which have weighed heavier than his slender experience of club football – a solitary assignment at Middlesbrough that ended in relegation and dismissal.

Having signed his contract Southgate immediately turned to the challenges ahead, with the 2018 World Cup and 2020 European Championship in his remit.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

FA chief executive Martin Glenn, who joined chairman Greg Clarke and technical director Dan Ashworth in nominating Southgate to the board, explained the qualities that persuaded the trio not to look elsewhere.

“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 that is important,” he said.

“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.”