Dion Dublin weighs in on Gareth Southgate England future with World…

Southgate praises Bellingham after England draw with Germany

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Gareth Southgate should remain England’s manager even if the nation fails to perform at this year’s World Cup in Qatar, according to Dion Dublin. The former England international has heaped praise on Southgate, who is under pressure after a miserable UEFA Nations League campaign heading into the tournament.

The Three Lions are winless in six games, failing to score in four and losing to Hungary twice, which has sparked questions over whether Southgate is coming to the end of his tenure. He’s guided England to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and EURO 2020 final while in charge and could be feeling the pressure to deliver similar success this winter.

But Dublin, speaking exclusively to Express Sport, has hailed Southgate for his work so far and argued his exploits so far have proven he’s ‘perfect for the job’. And he’s predicted that England will enjoy another long run at an international tournament by at least reaching the semi-finals in Qatar.

When asked whether his time could soon be up, Dublin said: “No, I don’t think so. I think Gareth’s done brilliantly. The reason why I think he’s been great is that he knows the players. He’s coached them, they trust him, and he trusts them. He’s created a very good, chilled-out environment.

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“There are no fractions in the group anymore, it’s very much an England squad, the media like being around the players, and everything’s a bit more relaxed. That’s down to Gareth Southgate, so I don’t want to change. Even if they don’t do well in the World Cup, I still don’t want to change.

“Leave him to do what he wants to do. We’re all forever wanting to change the manager; everybody wants to change the manager. You lose a couple of games, and it’s, ‘get rid of the manager and get a new one’. Well, you know, it can’t always just be the manager if it’s not working.

“Sometimes look at the staff and look at the players and look at other things. Gareth Southgate, leave him alone. We’ll be okay. He’s got a great squad of players to be working with, a lot of quality, and I’m sure we’ll get to the semi-finals. I think he’s perfect for the job because the players like him, and they trust him, which is huge.”

One of Southgate’s biggest dilemmas going into the World Cup is, ironically, at right-back, a position he has been given a headache about in recent years due to England’s talent pool. Reece James has been ruled out through injury, Kyle Walker is also currently sidelined, and Trent Alexander-Arnold, also out, is enduring a tough patch of form this season.

While Dublin doesn’t believe all three will be absent next month, he has backed Newcastle United’s Kieran Trippier to step up as Southgate’s first-choice right-wing-back if needed. Trippier has been a regular starter for England in the last couple of tournaments and wouldn’t look out of place if he travelled to Qatar.

“Who’s left? Trippier? He likes Trippier; I know he likes Trippier. He’s a good footballer,” Dublin added. “I think Kieran Trippier, at this present time, would be the one who starts if [Alexander-Arnold, Walker and James] don’t make it. But I do think two of that three will make it. I think Kyle Walker will be okay, and I think Trent will be okay. But Reece, I’m gutted, to be honest with you. I think he’s top-class, top-drawer.”

Amazon Prime Video will be broadcasting nine Premier League fixtures between October 18-20, including Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool vs West Ham.

Dion Dublin will be working as a pundit at the Fulham vs Aston Villa fixture on October 20, with commentary from Guy Mowbray.

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