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England coach fears Euro 2020 champs could decide his future

Gareth Southgate says England’s performance at the European Championship next year is likely to determine whether or not he is in charge at the 2022 World Cup.

“That will depend very much on how we get on next summer,” said Southgate, who will travel to Qatar to run the rule over England’s Liverpool players at the Club World Cup.

Qatar will also host the World Cup in 2022.

“When you have a week like you’ve had, you sense that people can fall out of love with you,” he added, referring to the backlash for dropping Raheem Sterling over disciplinary issues.

“If there isn’t a warmth for you to continue, then that can start to affect the team. I’m realistic about how quickly those tides can turn.”

Southgate, who took over the England role on a permanent basis in 2016 and has a contract until 2022, led the side to the World Cup semifinals last year and topped their Euro 2020 qualifying group to earn a seeding at the finals.

England are set to play their group stage matches at Wembley, which will also host the semis and final, and Southgate said he was aware of soaring expectations.

“We’ve dealt well with the expectation over the last 18 months,” he said. “We’ve not shirked from that in the qualifying matches where, in the past, there’s been a tension around the performances and the style of the games.

“Securing qualification is a little bit joyless because I’m expecting us to win these games and I’m always looking at how to get better… For me, it’s about what’s next and I know we’ll always be judged ultimately by the tournaments in the summer.” – AFP

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