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'We've got credibility now' - Southgate believes perception of England has changed after major tournament exploits

2:19 am AEDT 10/12/22
Gareth Southgate England World Cup 2022
Gareth Southgate has insisted that England have earned 'credibility' on the global stage after their performances at recent international tournaments.
  • Last won major honour in 1966
  • Have impressed in Qatar
  • One win away from a semi-final

WHAT HAPPENED? Ahead of the Three Lions' World Cup quarter-final clash against France on Saturday evening, their manager has praised his team's progress. England have gone deep in the past two international tournaments, making the semi-final in Russia 2018 and then losing in the final of Euro 2020.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to the BBC, Southgate said: "I think there's always been a level of respect for England but I think we've got credibility now."

"To get to a semi-final then a final, I think the rest of the world believe that England are competitive and they know that we have performed under pressure a lot more in the last few years.

"When I travel around Europe and the world and meet football people, there's definitely a greater appreciation of what we've done."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Before Southgate took over in 2016, England had not made it to the semi-final of a major tournament since Euro '96.

In his interview, the manager also said: "Four years ago we could have talked well but we didn't have actual evidence of winning big matches and going through big nights together as a group.

"I think over this period of time we've had so many of those occasions that now there's less satisfaction with getting to the quarter-finals, there's more desire to go further and there's more evidence that we've come through these nights well. I think for any team that's an important part of growing.":

IN THREE PHOTOS:

DID YOU KNOW? With nine wins to his name, Southgate has won more matches at major tournaments than any other England boss. Which is one more than World Cup-winning manager Sir Alf Ramsey (eight).

WHAT NEXT FOR ENGLAND? Despite all his success, Southgate still has plenty of critics among the English public for his perceived pragmatic style. If the Three Lions lose to France, it will be interesting to see if his job is safe.