The atmosphere builds ahead of the Women’s World Cup final
England men’s boss Gareth Southgate made a back-handed dig at his Three Lions team as he sent a message of support to the England women’s players ahead of their World Cup final clash with Spain on Sunday. The Lionesses reached the showpiece event of the World Cup after overcoming co-hosts Australia in the semi-finals.
“There is of course no advice because you have done more than us already,” Southgate said on ITV as he addressed his words to the Lioness stars. “You know what is needed to win. All the best for the final and we hope that you can bring the trophy back.”
Southgate has managed the England men’s squad at two World Cups after taking over from Sam Allardyce in 2016. The former defender guided England to the semi-finals of the 2018 tournament in Russia before his team were defeated by Croatia. And at last year’s World Cup in Qatar, the Three Lions were dumped out by France at the quarter-finals stage.
England have been among the favourites to lift the World Cup trophy at the last two men’s tournaments but ultimately came up short in the latter stages. And Southgate even considered his position as England manager in the aftermath of their latest tournament exit.
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The 52-year-old is contracted to manage the Three Lions until the end of next year. But in January he admitted he had only decided to stay on after being persuaded to do so by his family.
“They left Doha saying you’ve got to give this one more go and try to get this trophy,” Southgate told ITV News. “There was negativity about me being in charge and the last thing I wanted was for that to be the over-arching feeling going into a World Cup when you need the fans and everybody behind the team. You need that energy; you need that sense of togetherness.”
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