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'I'm the right person' - England 'better placed' for World Cup success after Nations League struggles, insists Southgate

7:51 pm AEST 25/9/22
Gareth Southgate England Italy 2022
Gareth Southgate has insisted he is still the "right person" to lead England to the World Cup despite the team's miserable Nations League campaign.
  • Southgate the 'right person'
  • Nations League failure won't affect World Cup
  • England relegated to League B

WHAT HAPPENED? England suffered a 1-0 loss at the hands of Italy in the Nations League on September 23 and were relegated to League B with just one match to go in the group stage. Southgate has been heavily criticised for his conservative approach throughout the 2022-23 campaign, but he remains confident that the Three Lions will reach their best level at the World Cup in November.

WHAT THEY SAID: "I think I’m the right person to take the team into the tournament. I think it’s more stable that way, without a doubt," said Southgate. "I don’t think (the) performance (against Italy) was far off and I know that’s going to get derision just because we’re on the back of a run of defeats.”

He added: “The younger players, in particular, that have been in these games will have learned a lot from them. In the past, we’ve had runs of friendlies, or whatever the matches are, and then we’ve gone into tournaments and that’s the first time we’ve hit high-level opposition and it’s hit us in the face quite often. Now we know the level, now we know what we’ve got to improve and we’ll be better placed for that by having had the quality of matches that we’ve had.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Three Lions are winless in their last five matches and have not scored from open play for over 450 minutes. Their last win came against the Ivory Coast in an international friendly on March 29.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR ENGLAND? England next face Germany in their final group game in the Nations League at Wembley Stadium on September 26.