‘That’s the life of managers in high-profile jobs’: England boss Gareth Southgate admits he ‘100 per cent expects’ increased scrutiny over his decisions after choosing not to make any substitutions prior to Poland’s equaliser in World Cup qualifier
- England are on course to comfortably qualify for next year’s Qatar World Cup
- But they lost their 100 per cent qualifying record against Poland in Warsaw
- Gareth Southgate did not make any changes prior to the hosts’ equaliser
- But the 51-year-old insists he will not be flustered by increased scrutiny of job
Gareth Southgate insists he can live with the heightened scrutiny on his decisions and accepts that increased criticism comes with the territory of being England manager.
His side are on course to comfortably qualify for the 2022 World Cup and need only four points from next month’s fixtures — in Andorra and against Hungary at Wembley — to secure a place in Qatar. This progress follows on from the Euro 2020 final.
Southgate, though, is not naive and understands that the concession of a last-minute goal in the 1-1 draw in Poland on Wednesday — having chosen not to make any substitutions — leaves him open to having his decisions picked apart.
Gareth Southgate insists he can live with the heightened scrutiny on his decisions
The England boss made no substitutions prior to Poland’s equaliser in their World Cup qualifier
It is not something that will fluster the 51-year-old. ‘I 100 per-cent expect it all the time,’ said Southgate.
‘It seems to be the way so I wouldn’t expect that to be any different after Poland. That’s not important, what I think about it.People are more than entitled to look at performances or look at decisions and pass comment.
‘That’s absolutely fair in assessing games — that’s the life of managers in high-profile jobs and you have to accept that as a manager at (the very) least.
‘We were in total control of the game against Poland. We had one moment when the goalkeeper was charged down then the goal at the end.’
It is clear the pain Southgate felt after the penalty shootout defeat by Italy still lingers
There have been moments over the last fortnight when Southgate has looked haunted and it is clear the pain he felt after the penalty shootout defeat by Italy at Wembley on July 11 continues to linger; it will be some time before it is gone completely.
To balance that, he feels the squad’s recovery has been swift and pointed to the way they handled demanding assignments in Budapest and Warsaw with maturity. It is, he says, an example of their progress as a team.
‘You learn a lot about the team when they play away from home,’ said Southgate.
‘The resilience that they have, the control that they have and making sure that they’re able to cope with the atmosphere as well as the game.
‘These are two tests we haven’t had for quite a while — away from home in front of full houses and, of course, with no away support at all — so that is a good experience for us. I have to say tThe players have come to that really through it well.’
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