Football NewsGareth Southgate Reveals the Final Reminder he will give England players before their match against France.
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Gareth Southgate understands what it’s like to be public enemy No. 1 after seeing his penalty saved in the Euro 96 semi-final, but he also understands the highs that come with his managerial heroics.

Only one thing is certain ahead of England’s date with destiny. Whatever the outcome of Saturday night’s World Cup quarterfinal, Gareth Southgate will be held accountable.

Southgate readily admits that after England’s match against France at Al Bayt Stadium, he will either be public enemy No. 1 or a national hero. It may ultimately determine his long-term future. That is the life of any England manager, but the margins seem especially thin when it comes to Southgate, who has done so much to rekindle the nation’s love for the national team.

England reached the World Cup semi-finals four years ago and the Euros final the year before that. It has also raised expectations even among the reigning world champions.

Southgate stated, “I’m always going to be judged on the next game.” If we don’t win, I know who will be held accountable. But that’s fine; I’m the boss, and I have to take charge. I recall talking to Stuart Pearce during my first tournament in 1996, when we were on our way to play Spain.

“‘This is always a strange one because you don’t know if you’re coming back to the hotel to pack your bags or if you’re coming back for another fortnight,’ he said.” That is championship football. As I previously stated, I am looking forward to the challenge. I have faith in the players and believe we are in a good position.

“We need to mentally toughen up, I believe. That is the most important aspect for me that we are attempting to achieve this week. Last year, they reached the Euros final but were defeated on penalties. France went through a similar process in 2016, losing their ‘home’ Euros but winning the World Cup two years later after learning from their mistakes.

Southgate believes that England will be stronger as a result of their near-misses. “Well, I’d be an idiot if I didn’t have learned over five years managing some of the biggest games in world football, managing some of Europe’s most high-profile players,” he said.

“Experiencing one of the most high-profile jobs in the country teaches you a lot.” As a coach, you are constantly improving. In another four or five years, I’ll be a better coach than I am now. “A hundred more games, or whatever.”

“The job is to win football games, not just to have a philosophy.” And you can have a philosophy, but if you’re going home at the start of the tournament, it doesn’t really matter.

“You have to keep winning with the national team.” Of course, we want to continue winning and scoring goals, but the key is always getting the most out of the players you have.”

Southgate has done an outstanding job as England’s manager. In addition, he has led this team to new heights and expectations. Southgate’s final message to his team before facing France will be to be “brave” enough to take the final step.

“We’ll remind them of the obstacles they’ve overcome as a group to get to this point,” Southgate said. “Remind them of the qualities they have demonstrated over time, as well as the recent evidence for them in the games they have played.”

“We have individual players with big-match experience, and to be honest, I don’t worry about the young ones because I believe they will just go and play.” Big players step up and can be decisive in big games in the end.

“We’ve been in this tournament, and there will be moments when France has bits of play, and we have to accept that we’re not going to stop them from creating a chance or having a spell in the game.” But we want to keep being brave when these things happen.”