Gareth Southgate feels he is the perfect man for FA role

31 March 2011 10:21
Gareth Southgate feels he can bridge the gap between club and country in his new FA role as head of elite development.

As a former club manager Southgate feels he is the perfect man to try and forge a better relationship between the FA and English clubs as he knows what it is like to lose players to international duty.

Southgate told the Guardian: 'As a former club manager myself I understand the worries about players going away to play for their countries. It will be my job to try to meet those concerns and build better relationships.'

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The former Middlesbrough boss feels that by improve training and facilities at all levels players will have a far greater experience when going away to play for England, regardless of their age.

The 40-year-old ex-England defender summed up the mantra of his new role: 'Rather than insisting to clubs, saying we want mandatory release of players,' Southgate said, 'we'd like players to want to come and play in England squads.'

Southgate also waded in on the debate over Jack Wilshere's potential selection for the European Under 21 Championships in June.

While he revealed he has not yet spoken Arsene Wenger about the issue, he supports the stance of the FA to try and field the best possible players at all levels.

He said: 'Of course, we want Jack Wilshere and his generation playing for England teams and we want to build a winning mentality at all levels.'

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Wilshere could be joined by the likes of Andy Carroll and Kyle Walker in Stuart Pearce's squad and the Arsenal midfielder has spoken of his desire to play in June.

'I'm keen to play,' Wilshere said. 'It will only be good for my career. You develop a lot and, if you play with players you know, you are going to play well.

'It is important to start winning international tournaments early and get it into you and hopefully you can take it on to the world stage. I'll be talking it over with Ars?ne Wenger in the next few weeks.'

Southgate also wants to use his new role to improve the standing of international friendlies, he said: 'I understand the difficulties that club managers and players feel but friendlies are important.

'Without them international teams would not have games for phenomenally long periods of time.'

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Source: Daily_Mail