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FA in no rush to decide England manager

Press AssociationPress Association 16/11/2016 Rory Dollard

Gareth Southgate has been told the Football Association views him as a "strong candidate" to become England manager but chief executive Martin Glenn promised not to rush a decision.

Southgate is the overwhelming favourite to land the job on a permanent basis after going unbeaten in his four-match interim stint.

Having been promoted from the under-21 job following Sam Allardyce's messy departure, he took seven points from a possible nine in World Cup qualifiers and signed off with an entertaining 2-2 draw against Spain on Tuesday.

Common consensus suggests that when England are next on duty, against Germany and Lithuania in March, Southgate will be in the dugout once again but Glenn has no intention of deviating from the formal selection process.

He will join FA chairman Greg Clarke and technical director Dan Ashworth in anointing the new boss, with League Managers' Association chief Howard Wilkinson and former international Graeme Le Saux advising.

Assessing Southgate's candidacy, Glenn said: "I won't be drawn on leading candidates but Gareth is a really strong candidate and clearly after the last four games his candidacy has become much stronger.

"Not just based on one or two matches, but because of what we've seen over the last couple of years.

"He's got renewed confidence and is a different manager to what he was two years ago. So it is not all about assessing him on a few games, you have got to see it more in the round.

"We know him and we've seen him at close quarters for a couple of years so it helps that he understands how international football works. What we said, however, is that we need to take stock after the four games."

Southgate has been coy over his words for the majority of his time in the spotlight, careful not to appear too eager or pressure his employers into action.

But it is now clear that he wants the job and to continue the work he has started, a fact hardly disguised by his quips about knowing which parking space he will be allocated at St George's Park.

"I want to manage big matches and I have proved I can do that," he said.

"Wherever it is going to be I would like to be coaching for a period of time. That is going to require some different challenges at different times, I guess.

"I am determined to manage at the highest level possible, club, country, home or abroad. Whatever it may be. Experiences like this are a big part of that journey."

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