Fewston's Southgate huge favourite for permanent England role
Fewston's Gareth Southgate is the overwhelming favourite to be appointed England manager on a permanent basis, despite once again refusing to publicly put himself forward for the job.
The 46-year-old’s four-game tenure as interim boss came to an end following Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with Spain at Wembley.
And with no other serious candidates in the frame for the role, bookmakers were offering odds as short as 1/50 on him taking the position on a full-time basis, on Thursday morning.
Unbeaten since taking over from Sam Allardyce in September, Southgate said that he feels he has “proved that I can handle big occasions”, but stopped short of admitting that he wants the role.
He added: “I have a couple of days off now to go and reflect and review the games and report back on everything I’ve seen and been involved in.
“I will reflect on the immense pride of leading the team and leading the country at a time where there was quite a bit of instability.
“I feel we’ve managed to more than stabilise the group. I think they are on a good platform now to push forward.
“I’ve been proud to lead and fulfil the remit I was given for these four matches.
“The rest we will just have to see what emerges over the next few weeks.”
Southgate has had a steadying influence on the Three Lions since assuming the role in difficult circumstances following Allardyce’s abrupt departure.
He has overseen World Cup Qualifying wins over Malta and Scotland and a draw in Slovenia.
Although Southgate’s side were denied victory over Spain after conceding two late goals, England’s promising display only further served to strengthen his claims for the job.
FA chief executive Martin Glenn said on Wednesday that a final decision regarding the appointment would not be rushed, but admitted that Southgate is a “strong” candidate.
“Clearly, his candidacy has become much stronger,” Glenn added.
“His candidacy is not just based on one or two matches, but because of what we’ve seen over the last couple of years.
“We just need to weigh up the facts and take time to make the right decision.”
As well as residing close to Harrogate, Southgate’s children attend school locally, and he also turned out for Pannal Ash Cricket Club in the Nidderdale Cricket League this summer.