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Sports

Southgate confirmed as new England boss

Two months after the departure of Sam Allardyce, the English FA have appointed their new manager. Gareth Southgate, who had filled in on an interim basis, has been confirmed as the country's permanent boss.

The 46-year-old won 57 caps for his country ahead of management jobs with Middlesbrough and England's under-21 side, before stepping up after Allardyce was caught up in a newspaper sting.

 Southgate has been handed a four year contract after overseeing two wins and a draw in three 2018 World Cup qualifiers, leaving England top of the group, plus a friendly draw with Spain.

"I am extremely proud to be appointed England manager," he said. "However, I'm also conscious that getting the job is one thing, now I want to do the job successfully."

"I've thoroughly enjoyed working with the players over these past four games and I think there's huge potential. For me, the hard work starts now."

Southgate pulled out of the race to succeed Roy Hodgson after England's Euro 2016 exit, saying he lacked the necessary experience for such a position but appears to have changed his mind in the subsequent  months.

The former Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough player famously missed the decisive penalty in a semifinal shootout with Germany in 1996 and managed England's under 21s for for 32 games.

Martin Glenn, the FA chief executive, said the new man's previous experience as coach of the country's young players was important.

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Southgate missed a crucial penalty against Germany in Euro 96

"He's obviously somebody we know well but it's his understanding of international football and the development set-up at St. George's Park (England's training centre) that is important," said Glenn.

"He performed extremely well during the four games he was in temporary charge and he impressed us during a tough interview process.

"Gareth is a great ambassador for what The FA stands for, he's a very good football tactician and a leader but beneath that he's a winner and that's an important part of the job."

His first match in permanent charge will be away to Germany in a friendly in March, followed by a World Cup qualifier at home to Lithuania later that month. The four year contract means the English FA plan to have their new man in place for the 2018 World Cup and European Championships in 2020.

mp (Reuters, AP)

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