England boss Gareth Southgate hit back at critics that claim his tactics are defensive and assured that he will not outstay his welcome as manager. Southgate has led the team to the semi-final of the World Cup, the final of Euro 2020, and a third-place finish in the Nations League. Despite his success, there have been calls for Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jack Grealish to be given more game-time.

“Look, I’ve got to find a balance because I don’t want to sit and be defensive but some people have managed teams and others haven’t,” England boss Gareth Southgate said. “Until you’ve managed teams, you have a different view of the game because what’s needed to win football matches are the sorts of things that Mount did on (Joshua) Kimmich that allows other things to happen.”

“Of course for the man who comes and stands on the terrace and in old terms pays his money, I totally understand he wants to see a Grealish with a (Raheem) Sterling, with a (Bukayo) Saka…but you’ve got to have a balance of the team, this is top-level football,” he added. “I think that balance of the team to get to a semi-final and final has been pretty good and maybe we’ve talked for years about why we haven’t got there. I’ve got to manage in the way I see fit.”

“They are normally in a role where they are paid to give an opinion and that is what they have to do. They are giving an opinion as they see it – that’s part of the industry, isn’t it?” he continued. “It is not nice when you are on the receiving end, of course not. You file it, you use it to motivate yourself and you totally understand it is part and parcel of being a manager.”

Also, Read Ian Baraclough accepts Northern Ireland fans’ frustrations


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