England job 'a privileged position', says Southgate

Manchester United is a reported admirer of Gareth Southgate but the England manager feels he has much to achieve with the national side.

England manager Gareth Southgate   -  Getty Images

Gareth Southgate has spoken of the honour of managing England amid reports he is being considered as a long-term successor to Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.

Southgate led England to its first World Cup semifinal for 28 years at the 2018 tournament, with the Three Lions since progressing to the inaugural Nations League Finals that take place in Portugal in June.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer boasts a 100 per cent record after seven games as United's caretaker manager, rejuvenating a squad that struggled during the closing months of Mourinho's reign.

It is a run that has strengthened the crowd favourite's case to take the job on a full-time basis, although Southgate is also thought to have won admirers among the Old Trafford hierarchy.

But, speaking to Sky Sports at a Football Writers' Association dinner in his honour, the 48-year-old maintained he is fully focused on his current job.

"I'm the England manager and it's a privileged position to be in," he said.

"We've had the best year for 28 years and we've got a semifinal this summer and [the 2020] European Championship that's predominantly at Wembley, providing we take care of business to qualify.

"So, it's a hugely exciting time with the team. I don't think we've progressed as far as we can yet. I think there's room for us to grow.

"I think there is a lot of importance in life about enjoying what you are doing.

"I am still a young coach, I've managed fewer than 200 matches, so, for me, it's an honour to be in the role I'm in and I thoroughly enjoy it."

England begins its Euro 2020 qualification campaign with games against Czech Republic and Montenegro in March, while Netherlands is its opponent in the Nations League semifinals on June 6 in Guimaraes.