LONDON: Gareth Southgate took another step towards becoming England’s next full-time manager following a formal interview with Football Association officials on Monday.
Barring a late change of heart or the kind of damaging revelation that forced predecessor Sam Allardyce out of the job, Southgate could now be confirmed as England’s new permanent manager when the FA board meets on November 30.
Southgate, 46, was placed in interim charge when Allardyce left the role in September after just one match following a newspaper sting.
His four games as caretaker boss yielded 2018 World Cup qualifying wins over Malta and Scotland, a draw with Slovenia and another draw in a friendly international against Spain at Wembley.
Promoted from within the FA, where he had been the England Under-21 manager, former England defender Southgate has been careful to avoid accusations that he was promoting himself as Allardyce’s permanent replacement at the expense of concentrating on his interim role.
But FA chief executive Martin Glenn said last week there was no doubt Southgate was eager to succeed Allardyce.
“He’s made it clear over the last week that he’s convinced he wants the job,” Glenn told Sky Sports News.
“Southgate’s in a strong position because not just the facts of the last four games have shown a lot of signs of encouragement, but the fact he’s worked in the FA for the last couple of years.”
Southgate made his case Monday at the FA’s St George’s Park training base in Burton, central England before a panel comprising Glenn, FA chairman Greg Clarke, FA technical director Dan Ashworth and Howard Wilkinson, chairman of England’s League Managers’ Association.
Former England left-back Graeme Le Saux, who played international football alongside Southgate, was present in an advisory capacity for an interview that lasted approximately three hours.
As well as England’s encouraging results during his time in charge, Southgate is also understood to have won plaudits for the way in which he dropped national captain Wayne Rooney from the side for last month’s match in Slovenia.
England’s next game is a friendly international away to Germany on March 22.