Gareth Southgate reflects on his future in England but has ‘few regrets’ from the World Cup

England manager Gareth Southgate is considering his future, but left Qatar with few regrets following their crushing World Cup quarter-final elimination at the hands of France.

Harry Kane scored a penalty and missed another against the defending champions in a 2-1 defeat of the Euro 2020 runners-up on Saturday night.

England’s anticipation to emulate Sir Alf Ramsey’s 1966 heroes continues as attention turns to Southgate as he processes his quarter-final defeat and reflects on his future.

The 52-year-old has a contract until the 2024 European Championship but wants to make sure he has the energy to restart and that the decision is right for the team.

“I think every time I finish these tournaments, I need time to make the right decisions,” Southgate said.

“Emotionally you have so many different feelings. The energy required for these tournaments is enormous.

“I want to make the right decision, whatever it is for the team, for England, for the FA. I have to be sure that whatever decision I make is the right one.

England were eliminated by France on Saturday night (Nick Potts/PA)

“I think it’s okay to take the time to do that because I know in the past my feelings have fluctuated right after tournaments.”

Southgate said “starting again takes a lot of energy and you have to make sure you’re ready for it”, adding that there was too much going on in his “head to think about it all logically” so quickly following the defeat.

The manager was seen embracing Kieran Trippier and thanking those who worked with the team during their 26 day stay at Souq Al Wakra on Sunday for lunch before boarding the staff bus for the airport.

Southgate gave an interview with Football Association media channels before England went home as he reflected on the tournament and how “a 30 second spell can turn your life upside down”.

“It’s a really strange feeling because the end of the tournament is so tough,” he said.

“Everyone packs everything up and you go through years of preparation, really, and then there’s that feeling.

“There was a feeling that we were so close and the level of performance that I was so happy with.

“There is the disappointment we feel that we could have gone on and done more, yet I have very few regrets about the whole thing. So, yeah, it’s really a roller coaster emotionally.

FIFA World Cup 2022 – England World Cup release – Sunday 11 December

England manager Gareth Southgate (left) and Kieran Trippier outside the Souq Al-Wakra hotel in Qatar (Martin Rickett/PA)

Southgate said the team was naturally flat on Sunday as players began to dribble away in the morning.

Jack Grealish, Harry Maguire, Phil Foden and Trent Alexander-Arnold were among the first to leave their base in Qatar, where Jude Bellingham signed autographs for fans before boarding the key players coach.

England captain Kane, Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford were among those who were not seen leaving before the two coaches headed into Doha airport at 12.35pm local time to catch a flight bound for Birmingham.

“I know this was an early tournament that had a lot of focus on,” said Southgate, reflecting on his third major tournament as England manager.

“What pleased me is that I think everyone who came had a really good experience and I hope they have.

“We have heard great support at the stadium and we know the support at home has also been incredible.

“I just think on a big stage I know how the rest of the world looks at us now.

“Look, we fell short in the end, so I can’t help it and I also have to accept it.

“But now we feed consistently at the top of European and world football and if we’re in that place with the depth of squad that we have then it’s exciting and important for England.

“It’s a difficult time for everyone, we’re really aware of that, and I think the players have represented them (England fans) in the right way, they have played in the right way and we hope everyone has enjoyed the journey.”

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