FA chair backs Southgate despite poor England run


LONDON: Gareth Southgate has been strongly backed by Football Association chair Debbie Hewitt following England´s disappointing Nations League results, which included a 4-0 home defeat to Hungary.

That embarrassing loss last week even sparked a debate over whether the England boss should be sacked ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, which starts in November.

But Hewitt hailed Southgate´s role in transforming the team´s fortunes on the pitch and instilling a healthy culture off it.

The 51-year-old last year took England to the final of Euro 2020, three years after reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup in Russia.

“My personal opinion on Gareth is that he is, by the facts on the pitch, the most successful England manager we´ve had for 55 years,” said Hewitt, who took over as FA chair in January.

“The bit people don´t see as much is the Gareth at camp and the culture he´s created.

“Certainly prior to Gareth being the manager of England, there was not the pride of wearing the England shirt. There were the club rivalries we´d read about. The players not getting on.

“He´s changed that beyond recognition and I´ve seen that first hand.” Hewitt praised Southgate´s willingness to take responsibility for setbacks.



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