PLAYERS and fans last night asked Gareth Southgate to remain England manager.
Returning to Britain from Qatar amid World Cup heartache, he said he would “reconsider and review” his position.
But it drew a huge wave of support for Southgate to lead the Three Lions to victory at Euro 2024 in Germany in 18 months.
Midfielder Declan Rice said: “I really hope he stays.”
But as dejected players and staff prepared to fly home, support grew for Southgate to carry on.
England and Manchester United defender Harry Maguire praised the Three Lions boss as “amazing”.
He said: “I’m sure if you asked every player on the team they couldn’t speak highly enough of him.”
Ex-England keeper Peter Shilton believes the gaffer, 52, can end the men’s 56-year wait for a trophy.
He said: “Southgate must remain England’s manager. We have the basis for a team that will eventually win a big trophy. The future looks bright. keep the faith.”
The Southgate youngsters beat the French world champions at Al Bayt Stadium but were punished at key moments – while Harry Kane’s atypical penalty late on sealed their fate.
Southgate – who has guided England to a World Cup semi-final and a Euro final – is under contract until December 2024 but will now be in talks with the FA about his future.
He refused to commit to staying for the difficult Euro 2024 campaign – where our first qualifier will take place in March against our 2020 conqueror Italy.
He said: “Whenever I finished these tournaments, I needed time to make the right decision.
“Emotionally you go through so many different feelings and the energy that you take through these tournaments is tremendous.
He has achieved incredible, incredible things for his country. He was in the semifinals and he was in the finals. He has to do it again because there are players, younger players, that push us forward.
“I want to make the right decision, whatever that is for the team, for England, the FA. I think it is right to take the time to do that.”
Italia 90 England star Paul Parker added to the chorus of support for his stay last night.
He said: “Gareth Southgate will want to go back and think about what happened, but he has to be there for the next tournament – he has to be.
“He has achieved incredible, incredible things for his country. He was in the semifinals and he was in the finals. He needs to do it again because there are players there, younger players that will push us forward.”
Former England manager Sam Allardyce said: “I would be surprised if he didn’t carry on for at least the next two years. As a coach there is nothing better than looking at a team and saying: ‘I have a very, very good squad and I have a very good team at international level’.
“Any manager wants to work with the best and I think he’s the best England have had for many, many years.
“More and more young lads are coming through so we’re getting better and hopefully more resilient.
“And hopefully in the end we can win a tournament.”
Emotionally you go through so many different feelings and the energy that you need through these tournaments is enormous. I want to make the right decision, whatever that is for the team, for England, the FA. I think it’s right to take the time to do this.
Man United and England legend Gary Neville wants him to stay after his current contract expires.
He said: “I would love for Gareth to stay for two more years. I would love for him to stay on beyond that, whether as a manager or in a future role with the FA.”
Fans also pled for Southgate to stay after the defeat by France, while Brazil referee Wilton Sampaio has faced increasing criticism.
John Jackson, a 59-year-old retired carpenter from Gateshead, said: “We were by far the better side against France and would have won had it not been for a shot off the ball and a dodgy referee.
“This England team is still a work in progress but there is only one man who can lead us to victory at the European Championships and that man is Gareth Southgate.”
England Supporters’ Band trumpeter John Hemmingham, 59, said: “It would be a disaster if we lost him now. We just outplayed the World Champion and we don’t need a new broom to sweep away all the good work he’s done.”
Sun and TalkTV star Piers Morgan added: “Could anyone have done better with this (very good) squad of players? I do not think so.”
Meanwhile, Maguire risked a fine for blowing up the referee who dismissed two appeals against England’s penalty and ignored a string of French fouls. He said, “It was really, really poor.”
Southgate was seen chatting with Kieran Trippier as the players left yesterday, while Jude Bellingham, Rice and Jack Grealish waved and gave fans a thumbs-up.
Kane was nowhere to be seen as the others boarded a bus to the airport.
He tweeted: “Absolutely disappointed. We gave everything and it boils down to a small detail that I take responsibility for.”
Saturday night’s game was the most-watched televised event of the year, attracting 20.4million viewers, ITV said.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6893373/gareth-southgate-beg-stay-manager-england-euro/ Players, fans and football legends are asking Gareth Southgate to keep going and lead England to victory at Euro 2024 in Germany