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Published: 11:23 | 3/10/16

Southgate to wait on England decision


Gareth Southgate is honoured to have been tasked with managing England temporarily but will wait before making a decision on whether to go for the job on a full-time basis.

Southgate was drafted in as caretaker manager following Sam Allardyce's shock departure and will take charge of England for the upcoming games against Malta, Slovenia, Scotland and Spain.

The current England Under-21 manager had ruled himself out of the running in the wake of Roy Hodgson's resignation after Euro 2016 but FA chairman Martin Glenn believes he is a genuine contender to be appointment on a full-time basis.

Speaking to the media on Monday, Southgate insists he is in no rush to decide whether or not to put his name forward for the job.

"The last week has been very difficult. We have got an opportunity to work with a group of players that are young and need guidance and stability," Southgate said.

"I have not had any chance to think about anything other than this week and getting the best results we want. Anything beyond that can wait."

He went on: "The role is an honour. It was a difficult position for the organisation and it was important to show leadership and get things in place to give the team the chance of winning.

"As the week goes on I have thought about the honour of what it is to lead the team. I am looking forward to the challenge, in my view it is a wonderful job to have for whatever period of time.

"It is huge for my family and huge for everyone who has helped me in my career, everyone who has touched my career and helped me as a person will take enormous pride in seeing me take charge of the team."

Southgate has made five changes to the squad that defeated Slovakia in their opening 2018 World Cup qualifier with Harry Kane, Adam Lallana, Danny Drinkwater and Nathanial Clyne all ruled out through injury.

While he has been forced to make changes to the squad, Southgate has made it clear that Wayne Rooney will continue as captain despite being dropped from the Manchester United first-team for recent games.

"I'm not sure why I would ever give the opposition that sort of information but the decision to make him captain in is quite simple," Southgate replied when asked what Rooney's role would be against Malta.

"What I felt from what I've seen around St George's over the two years and from talking to staff is that he's the outstanding leader in that group.

"It's a period of change after the summer and now this month. The most important thing at this time is leadership, on and off the field.

"I think that Wayne has provided that over the last two years. The way he has matured into that role is really impressive and there was no doubt in my mind about keeping him in that position."

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