England World Cup: Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho praises Gareth Southgate | Football | Sport


The Three Lions were knocked out at the semi-finals stage by Croatia after Mario Mandzukic’s extra-time winner.

England had led through Kieran Trippier’s free-kick but Ivan Perisic levelled the scores as Croatia dominated after half time.

But the success of Southgate’s side, with England reaching their first World Cup semi-final since 1990, brought a feel good vibe to the country.

And Mourinho believes Southgate should be given the chance to lead England into the future.

“England have reason to cry because they were so close to [reaching the World Cup final], but they have also have reason to be optimistic,” Manchester United boss Mourinho told RT.

“The team improved a lot in relation to previous appearances. It’s a young team, the majority of the players will play in the next World Cup with more experience at club level.

“If I was in charge of the FA there would be no doubt that I would keep Gareth Southgate and Steve Holland in their jobs and give them the chance to take the team to the next Euros and the next World Cup.

“The players and the squad, everybody involved in the World Cup, have a reason to come back home with pride after giving everything and making the country proud.”

Southgate’s appointment as England manager in 2016 was not met by much excitement from fans however he’s vitalised the side.

Having been knocked out of Euro 2016 by Iceland and failing to win a single match at the 2014 World Cup, optimism was not high heading into Russia.

But Southgate has turned England around and he insisted his side deserved praise for their Russian adventure.

“By the end several players were out on their feet and we were down to 10. The reaction from the fans at the end shows you everything they’ve given,” he said.

“We’ve come an incredibly long way in a short space of time. The whole thing is beyond where we thought we might go. Tonight we weren’t quite there. But the team will be stronger for it.

“As we reflect, there will be positives but it’s difficult tonight. We were so close to what was unimaginable at the start.”

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