Football Association’s Mark Bullingham has confirmed this week that he would likeGareth Southgateto extend his contract beyond next year’s World Cup in Qatar regardless of the outcome of England’s last-16 clash with Germany on Tuesday.
Southgate was initially put in temporary charge of England in 2016 after the sacking of Sam Allardyce, however later that year he was given the permanent role.
Since then, the Three Lions have reached a World Cup semi-final in 2018 and the following year they finished third in the Nations League.
Throughout Euro 2020, Southgate has faced widespread criticism for some of his selection choices and more defensive style of play despite the wide array of attacking talent in the squad.
However, England have finished top of group D, conceding zero goals and look confident heading into their knockout fixture with Germany.
“Am I enjoying the football? Yes, I am,” Bullingham said. “Gareth has done a brilliant job, finishing top of the group, with a really solid defence. He’s done really well on and off the pitch in every aspect.”
Whilst Southgate has progressed the England team further into tournaments than any other manager since Euro 1996, he has also helped to create a more harmonious atmosphere around St George’s Park.
Bullingham added: “Our support is unwavering, 100% unwavering. We want him to carry on, regardless of Tuesday. Absolutely. Regardless of the group stage of this tournament, we would have wanted him to carry on.
“The 2022 World Cup is an incentive, the fact it’s only 18 months away is exciting and then you look at Germany [in 2024] after that … it’s only 18 months after that. It’s going to be a really exciting three years coming up. Gareth knows exactly how we feel about him, that we’d like him to carry on. We would love him to carry on, for sure, beyond this contract.”
Bullingham said the ‘formal conversation’ around his contract will begin after the tournament.
In anticipation of Southgate’s selection headache for Tuesday’s match with Germany, Bullingham also confirmed that it was ‘very clear at the moment’ that Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount will have to continue their period of isolation until Monday night.
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