Southgate ‘discovers sack fate’ if England crash out to France

England train ahead of France clash

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England want Gareth Southgate to stay on as manager regardless of what happens against France on Saturday night, reports say. The 52-year-old is currently preparing for that quarter-final showdown as he looks to keep his side’s hopes of World Cup glory alive. And it seems as though his job is safe, regardless of what drama unfolds at the Al Bayt Stadium.

England will go up against France hoping to continue their fine World Cup form, having beaten Iran, Wales and Senegal at the tournament so far.

And Southgate is in the spotlight as a result, with fans hoping the 52-year-old can guide the Three Lions to the semi-finals of the World Cup for the second time in a row.

The former Middlesbrough boss divides opinion in the dugout. Some believe his cautiousness holds his team back, while others think he’s the right man for the job.

And the Daily Mail say England want Southgate to stay on regardless of what happens on Saturday, despite some ‘footballing circles’ believing he’ll walk away from the role.

Southgate was appointed as Three Lions boss in November 2016, having impressed in an interim role following the departure of Sam Allardyce.

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England have got better and better in the time since, with the Three Lions now recognised as a genuine contender to win the World Cup after a few years of underwhelming displays.

Southgate steered England to the last four in Russia in 2018, with Croatia then beating them 2-1 to break hearts and reach the final at their expense.

The Three Lions then made the final of the European Championships in the summer of 2021, only to be defeated by Italy in an agonising penalty shootout defeat at Wembley.

And England are on the right track to achieve World Cup glory this winter, with a draw against USA the only blotch on their record so far.

Should Southgate indicate a willingness to walk away from his role, then the FA will respond by asking him to see out the remainder of his contract.

The England boss is tied to his job until Euro 2024, which is due to be held in Germany in roughly 18 months’ time.

For now, Southgate is said to be ‘fully focused’ on the World Cup – with France set to provide one of the toughest tests when the match commences on Saturday night.

Didier Deschamps’ side have also won three of their four matches, overcoming Australia, Denmark and Poland while slipping to a surprise defeat to Tunisia.

And it has the makings of a classic in Qatar as a result, with millions of people back home also expected to tune in.

Speaking recently, meanwhile, Roy Keane praised Southgate for the work he’s done with England and urged them to play with the handbrake off when they lock horns with France.

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“At this stage of the competition you are going to be coming up against teams, they’ll always have one or two special players,” he told ITV Sport.

“But that’s part of the challenge. England have a bit of a swagger themselves.

“Of course, you have to look at the opposition and their strengths, but England should be brave and strong, and really go for it.”

And fellow pundit Graeme Souness thinks France will be fearing England. The former Liverpool star said: “France will be concerned about playing against England. England are the team that no one wants to play.

“You can’t sit back and say, ‘I’m really enjoying that football’, like you would with Spain, and possibly tonight.

“But I’ll bet you none of the big teams want to play against England because they see how pragmatic they are, they give very few chances away.”

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England have met France twice at major tournaments in the past 20 years.

They lost 2-1 to Les Bleus at Euro 2004, with Zinedine Zidane scoring a late double after Frank Lampard had put the Three Lions ahead.

And England and France played out a 1-1 draw when they met at Euro 2012, with Joleon Lescott’s header cancelled out by Samir Nasri. 

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