Gareth Southgate (file pic).
gotta have faith

Southgate should stay on, even if England are World Cup flops – Ferdinand

The FA should give the 47-year-old their backing due to his knowledge of youth football, says the ex-Manchester United man.

RIO FERDINAND HAS backed manager Gareth Southgate to be in the England role for the long haul.

Southgate took over from Sam Allardyce in 2016 after the former Bolton boss was sacked following just one match in charge, and despite initial scepticism over his qualities has led the squad to World Cup 2018.

Matches against Tunisia, Panama and Belgium lie ahead for Southgate’s young side, and while there is a feeling that this tournament may have come too early for the Three Lions to be contenders, there is optimism that the long-term future is bright.

Ferdinand believes that no matter what happens in Russia, Southgate should be the man to see them forward.

“It should be part of the FA’s job to market the England manager in the right way,” he told the Express. They should say there needs to be a strapline around this tournament now that says: ‘We have a great pool of talent coming through but this tournament may be a bit early in terms of the development of this England squad. But don’t worry, we are going to get there.’”

Indeed, Ferdinand even believes that defeat in Russia could be to the long-term benefit of the England players.

“Even if we have a disaster, we will learn – and you learn most when you get beaten,” he said.

“Every time I got beat, I self-analysed and collectively I was analysed. And you learn more,” he said.

“When you win, everybody is having a good time and you don’t worry about anything and enjoy it. But you scrutinise yourself and look at yourself more in times of hardship.”

Southgate has experience in working with England’s youth ranks, most notably from his time as U21 manager, and Ferdinand believes that stands him in good stead for the years ahead.

“He should get that time because of his knowledge of the Under-21s and what is coming through,” the former Manchester United and England centre-back said.

“He knows what is coming through underneath and I bet he is more excited about those ones coming through than the current crop he has at the moment, not that he can say so.”

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