Gareth Southgate sends England fans promise ahead of Euro 2021



Posted Saturday, March 21, 2020 by Dailystar.co.uk

Gareth Southgate has been given an extra year to prepare England for the Euros after coronavirus postponed the tournament this summer

Gareth Southgate has promised the nation England will be firing on all cylinders when the delayed European Championships kick off in June next year.

The Three Lions chief has been forced to postpone his first squad get-together of the year with the forthcoming friendlies at Wembley against Italy and Denmark already cancelled.

Southgate has assured all those who've would have been in his plans this sporting summer, they will remain at the forefront of his thoughts next year.

And in a Churchillian address to fans up and down the country, the coach predicts that when he leads England into his third tournament , he'll “never have been prouder to be the leader.”

Gareth Southgate sends England fans promise ahead of Euro 2021
Gareth Southgate promised his England side would be 'firing on all cylinders' for Euro 2021

While strikers Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford would have had fitness concerns hanging over them had the Euros not been hit by the coronavirus, Southgate hopes he'll have a fully fit squad - with perhaps one or two new additions - to choose from next year.

"When we play again as an England team it will be at a time when not only our country, but the rest of the world is well is on the road to recovery,” he said.

"Hopefully, we will be closer to each other than ever and ready for the beautiful distraction that football can bring.

Gareth Southgate sends England fans promise ahead of Euro 2021
The competition was pushed back a year amid fears over coronavirus

"To play in the European Championship next summer will be possible for all of our squad and so we shouldn't spend another moment thinking about the postponement of the competition.

"I feel sure that when the moment comes, I will never have been prouder to be the leader.”

As well as guiding the Three Lions into the World Cup semi-finals 18 months ago and qualifying for the inaugural Nations Cup finals, Southgate has carved out a reputation for his excellent PR skills.

At Russia 2018, he was jokingly asked if he was the right man to sort out the Brexit mess.

Boris Johnson and his government will surely appreciate Southgate's plea for football fans to heed the expert advice to avoid social contact and take every step necessary at this difficult time.

Gareth Southgate sends England fans promise ahead of Euro 2021
And Southgate said 'he'll never be prouder to be a leader' for the tournament next year

Southgate added: “In the way you've all come together to support our team, we must now work together to combat a virus that is causing physical and emotional issues to so many.

"So please continue to follow the guidelines for hygiene and also the sensible precautions put in place to control the spread of the virus in order to protect those most vulnerable to its impact.

"That responsibility lies with us all.”

The Three Lions' squad is still young with an average age around the 25 mark so pushing back the tournament won't make a significant difference in that respect.

Indeed, with so many youngsters in it, a 12 month delay could even work to Southgate's advantage.

Gareth Southgate sends England fans promise ahead of Euro 2021
England are looking to win the competition for the first time

There will be casualties. While the likes of John Stones, Danny Rose and Callum Wilson would probably have been included this summer, that may no longer be the case in 2021.

And with the competition for places in midfield red hot, even Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could find himself pushed out with Jack Grealish surely set for a call-up at some stage.

Phil Foden will need regular first team action at Manchester City to enhance his claims. It could be Manchester United's rapidly developing Brandon Williams is one of the main beneficiaries of the delay.



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