Gareth Southgate, England manager: “I believe I am the best candidate to lead the squad into the tournament. Without a doubt, I believe it is more stable that way “; England lost to Italy in their most recent encounter and will play Germany in their last Nations League game in Group A3 on Monday.
Under-fire Gareth Southgate is still certain he is the ideal man to take England into the World Cup, and he believes the team will gel in Qatar. England is among the favorites to win the European Championship in winter after reaching the semi-finals in Russia four years ago and as runners-up last summer.
But things have gone wrong at the worst possible time for England, who were relegated from the Nations League top flight with a game to spare after a 1-0 loss in Italy on Friday.
Southgate was booed by some of the traveling fans at San Siro after a sixth winless encounter, increasing pressure and scrutiny ahead of the World Cup start against Iran on November 21.
“Look, I think that’s where it is right now, and I have to accept it,” he remarked of the gloomy atmosphere as Qatar approaches.
“I believe I am the best candidate to lead the squad into the competition. Without a question, I believe it is more stable that way.
“I don’t think (the) performance (against Italy) was far off, and I know it will be ridiculed just because we’re coming off a losing streak.
“But I have to separate the summer and the circumstances around it from (this match).”
When asked if he is still sure that England would perform well in the finals, Southgate replied: “Without a doubt, yes.
“We’re playing and have played some top-tier teams, and we’ll be better for it. And the younger players in these games, in especially, will have learnt a lot from them.