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Gareth Southgate ponders his England future but has ‘few regrets’ from World Cup

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England manager Gareth Southgate is considering his future but left Qatar with few regrets following a crushing World Cup quarter-final knockout by France.

Harry Kane scored a penalty and missed another against the reigning champions on Saturday night in a 2-1 defeat of the Euro 2020 runners-up.

England’s wait to emulate Sir Alf Ramsey’s 1966 heroes continues as attention turns to Southgate as he processes last eight defeat and ponders his future.

The 52-year-old has a contract until Euro 2024 but wants to make sure he has the energy to come back and that the decision is the right one for the team.

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“I think every time I finish these tournaments, I need time to make the right decisions,” Southgate said.

“Emotionally you go through so many different feelings. The energy that is needed in these tournaments is enormous.

“I want to make the right decision, whatever it is for the team, for England, for the FA. I have to be sure that whatever decision I make is the right one.

“I think it’s right to take time to do that because I know in the past my feelings have fluctuated right after tournaments.”

Southgate said “it’s a lot of energy to play again and you have to make sure you’re ready for it”, adding that there was too much in his “head to think logically about any of it” so quickly after the loss.

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The manager was seen giving Kieran Trippier a hug and thanking those who worked with the team during their 26-day stay at Souq Al Wakra at lunchtime on Sunday before boarding the staff bus for the airport.

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Southgate did an interview with the Football Association media channels before England left for home while reflecting on the tournament and the fact that “one 30 second period can change your life”.

“It’s a really strange feeling because the end of the tournament is very tough,” he said.

“Everyone is packing everything up and you go through years of preparation, really, and then there’s that feeling. There’s the feeling that we were so close and the level of performance that I was so happy with.

“There is the disappointment that we feel we could have gone on and done more, and yet I really have very little regret about the whole thing. So, yeah, emotionally it’s a roller coaster, really.”

Southgate said the team was naturally flat on Sunday, as players began to slowly fade away in the morning.

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Jack Grealish, Harry Maguire, Phil Foden and Trent Alexander-Arnold were some of the first to leave their Qatari base, where Jude Bellingham signed autographs for fans before climbing into the lead players’ coach.

England captain Kane, Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford were among those not seen to leave before the two coaches headed to Doha airport at 12:35pm local time for a flight to Birmingham.

“I know this was a tournament beforehand where there was a lot of attention,” said Southgate, reflecting on his third major tournament as England manager.

“What pleases me is that I think everyone who has come has had a very good experience and I hope that has been the case. We felt great support in the stadium and we know that the support at home was also incredible.

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“I just think that on a big stage I know how the rest of the world looks at us now. Look, ultimately, we’ve come up short, so I can’t get away from that and I have to accept that as well.

“But now we are feeding into the top table of European and world football on a consistent basis and if we are in that place with the depth of the team that we have then that is exciting and important for England.

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“It is a difficult time for everyone, we are very aware of that and I think the players have represented them. [England fans] the right way, I’ve played the right way and we hope everyone has enjoyed the ride.”

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