England caretaker manager Gareth Southgate has not considered becoming the full-time boss. The 46-year-old coach is among the favourites to become the next permanent manager of the Three Lions – but Southgate has remained coy about the possibility.
The former England centre-back is poised to lead his country into four World Cup qualifying matches for Russia 2018, starting with Malta on 8 October. But rather than being swept up in the controversy surrounding Sam Allardyce's abrupt exit as the England boss, Southgate insisted he is focusing on the task at hand.
"The last week has been very difficult. We have got an opportunity to work with a group of players that are young and need guidance and stability," Southgate said when asked whether he wanted the job on a full-time basis, according to the BBC.
"I have not had any chance to think about anything other than this week and getting the best results we want. Anything beyond that can wait."
Southgate also insisted he was prepared for the scrutiny that comes with being the England manager, even though he refused to explicitly confirm he wanted the job. "I have shut myself off from any comment and actually, I've quite enjoyed that. Maybe that's the way forward," he joked.
"It's clear that any high level sports team have got to perform under pressure. I have worked with a lot of these lads and I know the potential that they have. This team doesn't have a lot of experience of competing in the latter stages of the Champions League.
"What happened in the summer [at Euro 2016] is only failure if they don't learn from it. Some of that comes from age and experience. It's really important that we build on what happened in Slovakia. There are some good things that came out of that game."
Southgate – who has stepped up from his role with the England U21s to take the senior job – revealed he was hugely proud to have been asked to become the temporary replacement for Allardyce, whose 67-day tenure as the Three Lions boss ended following a newspaper sting.
"The role is an honour. It was a difficult position for the organisation and it was important to show leadership and get things in place to give the team the chance of winning," Southgate explained. "As the week goes on I have thought about the honour of what it is to lead the team. I am looking forward to the challenge, in my view it is a wonderful job to have for whatever period of time.
"It is huge for my family and huge for everyone who has helped me in my career, everyone who has touched my career and helped me as a person will take enormous pride in seeing me take charge of the team."