Gareth Southgate, has opened up about his future as England’s football manager.

Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham said during the tournament that he wants to hand Southgate a new deal.

However, in a press conference this morning (12 July) he said he needed time to reflect on the game before signing a new contract.

Southgate said: “I don’t think now is an appropriate time to think about anything.

“It is amazing experience but to lead your country in these tournaments takes its toll and I need a break now.

He added: “I don’t want to commit to anything longer than I should- and I never want to outstay my welcome.

“So all of those things need consideration before I even think about sitting down and talking.”

However, he did add that he wants to lead the team to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

He said: “I want to take the team to Qatar, I feel we have made progress over the four years, we have had a fourth, a third and a second-placed finish and that is as good as anyone.”

The manager said it was too early to be able to reflect on the positives of the journey to the final.

“I know in time we will have an appreciation of that and I know the messages we are getting underline that,” continued Southgate.

“But when you are in sport and you get to a final you know those opportunities are rare and to be so close and to know what that has taken and know you have to pick up and go again, that is very hard the day after.

“We will go again of course.”

Borehamwood Times: England impressed en route to the final (Mike Egerton/PA)England impressed en route to the final (Mike Egerton/PA)

Southgate rejected the theory that England are too nice to win major tournaments.

“I don’t see that really, we got to a final for the first time in 55 years,” he said. “I am not really sure…you’re not a nice team to get to a final.

“We have overcome a lot of hurdles that we have been unable to in the past.

“If we had been torn apart or been a mess then I might look at it differently. It is easy to throw theories around at the end of any tournament, but it is important to analyse correctly when you are a coach, I don’t want to go along with theories that I don’t think are correct.”

Southgate said that ensuring his players were supported after the penalty heartbreak was “top of his thinking” in the hours after the final.

“We’ve got to make sure that we’re there, and aligned with their club, and making sure that we look after those boys, absolutely.”

Southgate says his players now know what is required to do well in tournaments, having reached the semi-final of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and is excited for the future.

He added: “Russia was the beginning, we had seven in the starting team from Russia and that experience has been critical through the big matches in this tournament.

“So to add the young players in at the time we did, there is another group with more learning and understanding.

“Because of what they have been though in these two tournaments they will have a belief that they can get close.

“The cycle and the expectation of the group will know what’s needed to get to the level to get to win and that should be a process that stands us in good stead.”

In the conference, Gareth Southgate also opened up about the racial abuse some England players have received on social media.

Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were all targeted by abusive posts in the wake of their missed penalties in the shootout.

He explained: “For them to be abused is unforgivable- It’s not what we stand for we have been a beacon of light in bringing people together… the national team stands for everybody.

“It’s my decision who takes the penalties- it’s not a case of players not volunteering or more experienced players not volunteering. 

“Those boys have done a brilliant job.”