Southgate appointed England Under-21 coach

The former international has penned a three-year deal to succeed Stuart Pearce, with his employment praised by Three Lions coach, Roy Hodgson
Gareth Southgate has been appointed the new coach of the England Under-21 side, the Football Association has confirmed.

The former England international has signed a three-year deal with the Young Lions and says he is looking forward to the challenge of taking over from Stuart Pearce.

“I’m delighted to get this role and extremely excited about the prospect of working with the best and brightest young players in the country," he told the FA's official website.

“I'm a proud Englishman and playing for my country was the pinnacle of my playing career. Since retiring as a player I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience of the game both here and abroad, and I'm eager to play my part in preparing players to compete at the highest level.

"Whenever any team steps onto the pitch for England, being successful is of huge importance, but it is also about developing a clear style of play that can allow our talented young players to flourish.”.

Meanwhile, England manager Roy Hodgson has also backed the decision to appoint Southgate, who he feels will be working with a very talented group of players.

"I know Gareth well and he has the right philosophy and approach to football, and I'm very much looking forward to working with him," he added.

"Having taken the Under-21s earlier this month I'm aware of the talent that exists within the group, so it is a great opportunity looking ahead to the tournament in two years' time."