Whether the Football Association opts for him or not, Gareth Southgate wants a swift decision made on who will be appointed as the next England manager.
The retired defender temporarily relinquished his England Under-21 role to take up interim duties with the senior side when Sam Allardyce was sensationally sacked, and has since guided the Three Lions to seven points from a possible nine in World Cup qualification.
Tuesday’s friendly against Spain will be Southgate’s fourth match in charge, and many suspect he could man the technical area for many more when he’s offered the gig on a permanent basis.
“It would be important for me to know what I’m doing after the middle of November,” said Southgate when asked if he believed the FA should reach a resolution quickly. “I think for everybody because we’ve got the European Under-21 Championship to prepare for, and the seniors have got the next round of games to prepare for.”
In his short time at the helm, Southgate has shown his ambition by trying to implement more forward-thinking tactics, such as swift passing from the defenders looking to instigate attacks. His experience handling the younger ranks at St George’s Park promises a first team with more youthful exuberance under his watch, too.
Michael Keane, Burnley’s 23-year-old centre-half, could be one newcomer to earn a regular place in the fold. The ex-Manchester United trainee is in the frame to make his international bow in Tuesday’s visit from Spain.
Following Friday’s 3-0 victory over rival Scotland, Keane and others will be chomping at the bit to find space in Southgate’s lineup.
“I’m loving this opportunity. I’m immensely proud I’ve been given the chance to lead the country for three games, and there’s another one on Tuesday,” the ex-Middlesbrough boss continued.
“And to be involved in an England-Scotland game, which was as high pressure as you can be, was a brilliant experience, preparing the whole week and emotion of winning the game. That was very, very special. But (the chance to finish what he has started) is not my decision in the end.”