Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann was relieved to see the Euro 2024 hosts avoid the dreaded 'group of death' at Saturday's draw, but he will not be taking their opponents lightly.

As tournament hosts, Germany were placed into Group A, being joined by Hungary, Scotland and Switzerland.

Germany will face Scotland in the tournament's opening game in Munich on June 14, before taking on Hungary in Stuttgart five days later and rounding off their group against the Swiss in Frankfurt on June 23.

With the likes of Italy, Croatia and the Netherlands lurking outside pot one, Nagelsmann acknowledged Germany could have received a more difficult draw, though he thinks Scotland will pose a particular challenge after impressing in qualifying. 

"I think it’s a very interesting group," the former Bayern Munich boss told ZDF. 

"The opening game against Scotland will of course be emotional. They have great fans, it will be a nice start in Munich. 

"Hungary and Switzerland also have some Bundesliga players, and I've been able to train some of them myself, I know a few players there. There are a few exciting duels. 

"We let the emotions out when the games start, we don't talk too much beforehand, but we have a path that we want to take. 

"It's an interesting group in which we want to assert ourselves, that's clear. 

"It's not a group of death, but there are no really bad opponents if you look at the qualifying rounds. The teams have all left better-rated names behind them."

Rudi Voller, the 1990 World Cup-winning striker who became Germany's national team director in February, echoed Nagelsmann's thoughts after the draw was completed. 

"I'll be honest, there were scenarios with Italy and the Dutch," he said. "If you get into a group with them, it's the so-called group of death. We were spared that. 

"But we are not in a situation where we disrespect any opponents or take them lightly. Those times are over. 

"It's challenging, but I'm especially looking forward to the opening game against the Scots. These are wonderful games. With their fans, who will definitely come to the opening game, it is an honour."

Having had a fairly successful taste of Formula Four (F4) action recently, Tommi Gore has developed an insatiable hunger for more, as he hopes to chart a fruitful career on the circuit.

Gore’s passion and, by extension, unflinching desire to make it big in motorsport is of no surprise given the fact that he comes from a proud racing family that has made its mark in local and regional racing. His father Douglas ‘Hollywood’ Gore is a multiple rally and Dover champion, while his grandfather, Neil, raced at Vernamfield.

And already the young Gore has a solid platform on which he can build, having competed in the final round of the Radical Cup in the United Kingdom, and the final round of the FIA Formula 4 CEZ Championship, over the past month.

At the Radical Cup event held at the Donington Park Circuit, Gore driving for the Rob Weldon-owned Raw Motorsports team, had a series of mixed results in qualifying, but capitalised on wet conditions to not only win in the final race, but also the Sunoco Driver of the Weekend award. 

“This was my first event outside of the Caribbean, and with only one other event in a similar Radical SR3, I know it was going to be difficult to adapt to this new track. But I saw the rain as an opportunity on the final day because I have always been confident in the rain even though I had never driven a Radical in the rain prior.

“So, it was an amazing experience and also great to place my stamp on the international scene and show the world that Jamaicans can be competitive in any genre of any sport that we are passionate about,” Gore told SportsMax.TV.

That performance was followed by the Formula 4 opportunity and while the call for Gore to journey to Hungary came at the last minute, the budding driver knew it was a no-brainer.

“Needless to say, I immediately booked the flight, called sponsors and emailed my professors to advise them that I would miss class,” Gore shared.

For Gore, it was the big break he had longed for, and as fate would have it, he performed beyond expectations.

The 18-year-old placed third in the second race of the weekend, as he staved off the challenge of champion Ethan Ischer and claimed the final podium spot. He also topped the Rookie class in each of his qualifying races and was later named top rookie for the weekend.

“Prior to that weekend I had never even sat in a Formula car let alone drive one, so the Jenzer Motorsport Team’s expectations were very low going in. But by qualifying, I was in the top four and was able to fight for a podium. I finished fourth overall in races one and three to finish out a very solid performance,” Gore shared.

“This was a jaw dropping opportunity, the professionalism of the team and preciseness needed to be on pace with the front runners was beyond imaginable; to only be two tenths of a second off the fastest lap by the final race was applauded by the team, especially knowing that I went up against drivers with two years in these same cars,” he added.

Though the end results were on point for the most part, Gore was not shy to admit that both outings in England and Hungary were mentally and physically draining.

In fact, he recalled that the last minute advise from his father, coupled with his stubborn determination to rise above challenges, as the fuel that drives his ambitions.

“Honestly, they (the races) were not easy; it was very physically and mentally challenging to be on my best performance to seize the opportunities presented. Fortunately, my dad has always been a large figure in my career, from watching his legendary battles with David Summerbell Jnr at Dover Raceway, to him giving me those last-minute tips while on the grid before a race,” Gore reasoned.

He also credits the likes of Peter Rae, Craig Lue, Collin Daley Jnr and Chris Issa for their role in moulding his career into what it is at present.

With his immense potential now clear for all to see, the jovial driver remains optimistic that he will reap the fruits of his labour in the near future.

“My personal goal is to become a paid driver for a racing team, whether that be in prototype cars such as the Radical or Formula cars such as the F4. So, I’ll keep putting in the work, showing what I can do and then let the rest sort itself out,” Gore ended.

Olympic Champion Hansle Parchment successfully made it through to the final of the men’s 110m hurdles on day three of the IAAF World Athletics Championships on Monday.

Parchment got his customary slow start before coming through to eventually finish second in 13.18. The race was won by American Freddie Crittenden in 13.17. Wilhem Belocian of France advanced as one of the non-automatic qualifiers after running 13.23 for third while Switzerland's Jason Jospeh also made it through in fourth with 13.25.

Reigning two-time World Champion Grant Holloway was the fastest qualifier with 13.03 to win semi-final two ahead of France’s Sasha Zhoya (13.15). Japan’s Shunsuke Izumiya (13.16) won semi-final one ahead of the USA's Daniel Roberts (13.19).

The final is set for 2:40 pm Jamaica time on Monday.

NCAA Championships runner-up, Roje Stona, is looking forward to participating in his first IAAF World Championships set for August 19-27 in Budapest.

The Jamaican Arkansas standout is currently sixth on the world rankings this year with a best throw of 68.64m done to win at the SEC Outdoor Championships in Baton Rouge in May.

He enters Budapest as one of Jamaica’s biggest medal contenders in the field events.

“I’m looking forward to it. I think it will be a good competition. I’ve trained for the last couple weeks after the National Trials. I’m used to the extended season so it’s just for me to go out there and compete for a medal,” Stona said.

Those National Trials saw Stona throw 65.92m to finish second behind Traves Smikle’s 66.12m. 2019 World Championships silver medalist Fedrick Dacres threw 65.79m to complete Jamaica’s team for Budapest.

“It was a good experience. I was happy with the result in terms of finishing top three and getting a solid mark over 65m,” Stona said.

These performances mark a steady improvement for Jamaica in the event. Stona (6th), Dacres (7th) and Smikle (9th) are all in the top 10 in the world this year in the event. Stona’s best performance this season was his aforementioned 68.64m effort at the SEC Championships. Dacres threw 68.57m to win at the Tucson Elite Classic in Arizona in May while Smikle threw a personal best 68.14m at the King of the Ring event at the Excelsior High School on February 11.

“I’m glad to see that there’s a lot of improvement in the event in the country. I’m looking forward to competing with the guys,” Stona said.

At major championships, throwers will get up to three throws in the preliminaries but Stona is hoping he only needs one to achieve the automatic qualifying distance to the final which is 66.00m.

“If you make it to these competitions you are guaranteed three throws so, obviously, I’m going to try to make sure that I qualify from round one to not put myself under any pressure,” he said.

Action can be seen live on the SportsMax app.

Liverpool have landed two midfielders perfectly fit for their system in Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai, according to Reds legend John Barnes.

Jurgen Klopp secured the services of Mac Allister for a reported initial £35million from Brighton and Hove Albion, while Szoboszlai arrived from RB Leipzig for £60m (€69m) ahead of the 2023-24 season.

The pair will likely be utilised as multi-functional midfielders, adding energy to an ageing Liverpool midfield, which is expected to lose Fabinho and Jordan Henderson to Saudi Arabia.

Having initially played as a winger before moving to a central role, Barnes believes the versatility of Mac Allister and Szoboszlai makes the duo a tailormade fit for Klopp's men.

"Last season I think it was fairly apparent that we needed midfield players," Barnes told Stats Perform. "Of course, what you do is you use every opportunity to get who you can.

"So, in the strikers that we've got, I think that bodes well for the future. But I think you can see that we were a little bit short in midfield from an age perspective but also from a quality and intensity perspective.

"We knew we were going to lose two or three midfield players, so they are welcome additions to the squad from a positional point of view and also from the quality point of view too."

Mac Allister was also the only player to average two-plus shots (2.68), two-plus tackles (2.18) and 50+ passes (56.2) per 90 minutes in last term's Premier League, among players with 1,000 or more minutes.

That all-round approach and energetic demeanour makes the 24-year-old a suitable fit for Klopp's high-pressing philosophy, in the opinion of Barnes.

"It's not all about what impresses me, but he's the type of player who will suit our style," Barnes said of Mac Allister, who hit 10 league goals for Brighton last term.

"He may not be able to play for Manchester City but that doesn't mean he's better or worse. It's just that we have to sign players that suit our style and are hardworking all-action midfield players.

"He's not a Bernardo Silva type, but he suits what we want. Liverpool have always done that and looked to get players who suit their system, regardless of how other good other people think they are, or not.

"He suits our midfield profile and the template of a midfield player that we want. Hardworking, aggression and playing the ball forward quickly. He suits our style perfectly."

While Mac Allister impressed for Brighton and also Argentina during their triumphant World Cup campaign in Qatar, Szoboszlai arrives as a lesser-known star on English soil.

The Hungary international again fits Klopp's criteria for free-flowing aggressive football, having been involved in 163 open play shot-ending sequences in last season's Bundesliga – 49 shots, 48 chances created, 66 in the build-up – the fourth-highest figure of any player.

Barnes added: "I haven't seen much of him. But once again, you look at him in terms of his size, his aggression, his ability to get up and down.

"And once again, I trust in Jurgen Klopp and the staff to know exactly what they want. Not many people have heard of him, I'm one who didn't hear of him but they would have done their homework on him.

"So I have faith in them because they know the type of player they want. As I said, I haven't seen much of him but he seems to be quite impressive."

Roberto Mancini was not entirely satisfied by Italy's Nations League win over Hungary, while Marco Rossi hailed Gianluigi Donnarumma as the "best goalkeeper in the world".

Goals from Giacomo Raspadori and Federico Dimarco saw the Azzurri leapfrog their hosts to top Group A3 and qualify for next year's finals, alongside Croatia and the Netherlands.

Yet the visitors were forced to weather a late onslaught from Hungary, kept in the game through Paris Saint-Germain keeper Donnarumma, who lived up to his reputation with a string of impressive saves.

That gradually eroded control over the match frustrated Mancini, who felt his side rested on their laurels too much across the closing stages of Monday's encounter.

"It was a difficult game," he told RAI Sport. "It was all perfect until the final 20 minutes.

"We really need to improve in our ability to control the game for 90 minutes, as we worked so hard to be 2-0 up, so suffering like that in the final 20 minutes just makes no sense.

"We should have kept pushing for a third goal. I lost my voice because I was shouting so much in the final 20 minutes."

Rossi, who played alongside Mancini in a brief stint with Sampdoria almost three decades ago and embraced warmly at full-time, was more philosophical on his side's defeat.

However, the Italian was fast to praise countryman Donnarumma, who after something of a mixed first year at PSG following his Euro 2020 heroics, looks back to his best this season.

"It would have been nice to perform a miracle tonight, but when you play against teams like Italy, you have to make zero mistakes and hope the other side get it wrong," Rossi said in his post-match press conference.

"Even when we did have the chances, we were kept out by the best goalkeeper in the world. It's no coincidence that PSG signed Donnarumma."

Rossi also hailed Hungary's supporters, praising their "great respect and civility" for their opponents in Budapest.

"I've been in football for many years," he added. "I've seen packed stadiums and fans on their feet, but never anything like the passion you can feel when Hungary play on home turf."

Goals from Giacomo Raspadori and Federico Dimarco steered Italy through to the Nations League finals at Hungary's expense, as the visitors claimed a 2-0 win in Budapest.

Heading into Monday's final fixture in Group A3, Hungary needed only a draw to complete a remarkable run through the competition to next year's four-team fight for the top prize.

But Roberto Mancini's European champions, still smarting from their failure to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, delivered a composed performance to break their opponents' hearts in a taut encounter.

Marco Rossi's side can nevertheless take pride in their achievements, following a campaign that saw them defeat England twice and Germany once to finish second in the end.

Amid raucous home support urging them on to make history, they had looked bullish from the off, with Dominik Szoboszlai offering an early threat for the hosts.

But Hungary were undone by their lacklustre awareness at the back, and when Wilfried Gnonto pressed Adam Nagy's soft back-pass off Peter Gulacsi, Raspadori was able to round the prone keeper for a simple finish.

Italy held a one-goal lead through to the interval, and it took just seven minutes for them to double it afterwards, with Dimarco getting across Loic Nego at the far post to crash Bryan Cristante's cross into the roof of the net.

Hungary pushed for a response late on, but none was forthcoming – and with the full-time whistle, it was the Azzurri who booked their spot alongside Croatia and the Netherlands for next year's finale.

Italy boss Roberto Mancini says he is "pleased" to see Hungary thriving under former team-mate Marco Rossi, as the pair face off for a winner-takes-all Nations League clash.

The two sides meet in their final match in Group A3 on Monday, with the Azzurri needing victory in order to leapfrog their hosts into next year's finals in Budapest.

In a group that also included 2014 World Cup winners Germany and Euro 2020 finalists England, Hungary had been written off as easy pickings for relegation from the A tier of the Nations League.

But wins over both nations has catapulted them to top spot, and Mancini said he is delighted to see former Sampdoria team-mate Rossi showcasing his skill, stating that he is under no illusion of the task at hand.

"Playing in Hungary is never easy, but I am pleased that they have done so well in the Nations League, especially as their coach is my former team-mate," he stated.

"I see it as 50-50, because they can also count on a draw to go through. The fact we are here challenging for first place with 90 minutes to go is already pleasing, so we'll give it our all."

Italy will be without Ciro Immobile for the trip despite the striker making the journey to the airport, only to be left behind when the squad flew to Hungary.

Reports that Lazio's president Claudio Loitio ordered him to remain behind owing to a slight thigh issue were not commented on by Mancini, though he admitted the forward was not worth the risk.

"We tried and Immobile did everything right in trying to stay with us, but this morning we decided it wasn’t worth the risk," he added.

"It was disappointing for him and for us. Ciro would happily have stayed, and he did during the first game, but it was too dangerous to risk it.

"He wasn't in awful shape, but hasn't trained with us for three days. We met up when arriving in Milan, but his absence had already been discussed."

Germany boss Hansi Flick says he must take responsibility for his side's Nations League defeat to Hungary, after suffering the first loss of his tenure.

Adam Szalai's outrageous first-half flick was the only goal of a 1-0 loss in Leipzig, as the hosts failed to turn almost three-quarters of possession into a response on the scoreboard in Group A3.

It condemned Germany to a first loss against Hungary since 2004, with Flick's side often looking uncomfortably despite their control, with Jonas Hofmann dropped to right-back instead of his traditional midfield role.

Speaking afterwards, the former Bayern Munich boss admitted he has gambled incorrectly, though England's loss to Italy means they are safe from relegation, excusing further blushes.

"We wanted to try something with Jonas in the right-back position," he told ZDF. "I have to take responsibility for that. We never got where we wanted to use [our full-backs]. That's didn't work."

Addressing a media conference shortly afterwards, Flick added his side would not be disorientated by the result with the Qatar 2022 World Cup looming however, adding: "This defeat will not throw us off track.

"We know what is required of us now and this has opened our eyes a bit. It’s better to lose now rather than at the World Cup.

"Our first half was really poor. We didn’t do enough, played without confidence and made too many basic errors. It was a lot better after the break, though we failed to create enough chances."

Hofmann concurred with Flick's assessment, and vowed to not let a first loss since last year's last16 exit at Euro 2020 to England throw them off-balance.

"Tonight just wasn’t good enough," he added. "This defeat will not be the end of the world for us, of course it’s frustrating tonight, but we won’t let it get us down."

Germany will return to the scene of their last loss when they face England - already relegated to the B tier of the Nations League after a miserable post-Euros campaign - at Wembley Stadium on September 26.

Adam Szalai's sublime finish kept Hungary on course for the Nations League Finals as they beat Germany 1-0 in Leipzig.

Captain Szalai struck almost midway through the first half on Friday to give his side an impressive victory that keeps them two points clear at the top of Group A3.

Marco Rossi's side will qualify for next year's Finals if they avoid defeat at home to Italy on Monday, with the European champions having beaten England 1-0 at San Siro.

It was another memorable evening for Hungary at the Red Bull Arena, while Hansi Flick will be left to rue a night to forget with the World Cup looming.

From the first whistle, Hungary showed a proactive intent, tackling their hosts head-on with great intensity, and their approach was rewarded when Germany were caught napping from a corner 17 minutes in.

Few appeared to expect Szalai's to attack the near the edge of the six-yard box, and the forward's delightful flick to convert Dominik Szoboszlai’s delivery sailed beyond Marc-Andre ter Stegen's grasp and into the far corner of the net for a worthy lead.

Germany thought they had equalised through Thomas Muller's strike shortly after the restart, but the goal was ruled out as Jonas Hoffman was offside. 

That was as close as Flick's side came to salvaging a point as Hungary held on to keep their fate in their own hands heading into a decisive final group game.

Both Manuel Neuer and Leon Goretzka have been withdrawn from the Germany squad ahead of their two upcoming Nations League fixtures.

The Bayern Munich duo tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and have since been in isolation and left the team hotel.

The German Football Association (DFB) stated: "Due to a positive coronavirus test within one of the players' private circles, the medical team conducted a rapid antigen test on the whole nation team.

"All members of the coaching staff and the team are required to test negative before travelling. Confirmed contact of both players will be tested daily."

Germany play Hungary on Friday and England on Monday, and coach Hansi Flick will no doubt feel the strain of missing such vital players from his squad.

Goalkeeper and captain Neuer has been replaced by Hoffenheim's Oliver Baumann, with Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Eintracht Frankfurt's Kevin Trapp counted among Flick's other options in goal.

The DFB was yet to confirm the identity of any additions in Goretzka's place, although Flick still has the likes of Joshua Kimmich, Ilkay Gundogan and Thomas Muller at his disposal.

Reggae Girlz forward Tiffany Cameron has been named the Player of the Year by the Hungarian Football Federation for the 2021-22 season.

Cameron, 30, was announced as the winner at the HLSZ Gala Dinner on Monday after scoring 23 goals and providing 10 assists to help her club Ferencvarosi TC win the Noi NB I, the premier women’s league in Hungary, by 14 points.

She joined Ferencvarosi in 2020 after a season in Norway with Staebek. Cameron has also played club football in Germany, Sweden, Cyprus and the USA in her career.

The Canadian-born striker, who can also play midfield, has made twelve appearances for the Reggae Girlz, scoring five goals.

Italy boss Roberto Mancini has confirmed his side will be without Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti for their Nations League matches with England and Hungary.

Verratti was substituted off during the second half of PSG's Ligue 1 victory at Lyon on Sunday with an apparent calf problem.

PSG boss Christophe Galtier said after the game that the 29-year-old would delay linking up with the Italy squad to instead undergo a scan in Paris on Monday.

And Mancini is now preparing for Friday's visit of England and the trip to Hungary three days later without Verratti, with Sassuolo's Davide Frattesi in line for a call-up, while there was better news regarding Milan's Sandro Tonali and Napoli's Matteo Politano.

"Verratti is not available. He's picked up a knock," Mancini said at a press conference on Monday. "I'll probably call Frattesi to replace him.

"As for the other players, Tonali's problem is not a big one and Politano feels well."

Italy drew with Germany and England either side of beating Hungary in their first three Group A3 matches, before going down 5-2 in the reverse fixture with Germany last time out.

The reigning European champions are third, two points off leaders Germany and three points ahead of England in the relegation spot.

"Anything can happen in this group," Mancini said. "It wasn't pleasant losing 5-2 in the last game, but even then I saw some positive signs.

"Sometimes you need these kind of games to help you improve. It came at the end of the last season when we played a lot of matches.

"But the younger players have gained experience and we've done well overall with the five points collected."

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shericka Jackson and Rasheed Broadbell scored impressive victories in their respective events at the 12th Gyulai Istav Memorial in Hungary on Monday.

The 2022 World 100m champion has made running 10.6s a habit this year following yet another time of 10.67 at the meet where she ran 10.82 to finish second to Elaine Thompson-Herah in 2021.  Back then Thompson-Herah won in a meet record of 10.71.

The 35-year-old Fraser-Pryce eclipsed that record after achieving her fifth time this year under 10.70 seconds having run 10.67 in Nairobi in May, 10.67 in Paris in June, 10.67 in Eugene in July and a world-leading 10.66 in Silesia on Saturday. No other woman in history has run as many times under 10.70s in any one season.

The USA’s Tamari Davis finished second in 10.92 while Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji was third in 10.99.

Yohan Blake (10.03) and Ackeem Blake (10.05) were fourth and fifth, respectively in the men’s 100m won by the USA’s Marvin Bracy in 9.97. Trayvon Bromell finished second in 10.01, the same time as Elijah Hall as 0.04 separated second to fifth.

Jackson cruised to victory in the 200m in 22.02 finishing well clear of Kambundji at 22.45 and Kaylia Whyte of the USA, who was third in 22.46. Tynia Gaither of the Bahamas was fifth in 22.63.

Erriyon Knighton won the men’s race in 19.88. Aaron Brown finished second in 20.24. Alexander Ogando was third in 20.46.

Fresh off his Commonwealth Games 110m hurdles title that he won in a championship record of 13.08, Rasheed Broadbell came from behind to edge World Champion Grant Holloway at the line to win the event in 13.12. Holloway was given the same time while Daniel Roberts was third in 13.13.

Jasmine Camacho-Quinn won the hurdles in a slightly windy 12.27 over Kendra Harrison at 12.49 and Nia Ali at 12.60.

Commonwealth Games champion Janieve Russell clocked 54.14 for second place and Rushell Clayton finished third in 54.45 in the 400m hurdles race more than two seconds behind Olympic, World Champion and world-record holder Sydney McLaughlin, who established yet another meet record with her time of 51.68.

 

 

 

 

Gareth Southgate has the full support of the Football Association after chair Debbie Hewitt provided an impassioned defence of the "high IQ" and emotionally intelligent England manager.

England have made it to the World Cup semi-finals and Euro 2020 showpiece under Southgate, the latter of which the Three Lions' first final appearance at a major tournament in 55 years.

But pressure has mounted after a dismal start to their Nations League campaign in June, losing to Hungary twice either side of draws with Germany and Italy to leave England in danger of relegation.

The most recent 4-0 thrashing to Hungary was the first time England have lost a home match by four or more goals since March 1928, when they lost 5-1 to Scotland.

Hungary also became the first team to score four goals in an away match against England since the Hungarians themselves won 6-3 at Wembley in November 1953.

Frustrated supporters could be heard chanting "you don't know what you're doing" at Molineux towards Southgate, who later vowed to not out-stay his welcome in charge.

With the World Cup in Qatar just five months away, Hewitt was quick to outline her support for the 51-year-old despite ongoing questions over his tactics.

"My personal opinion on Gareth is that he is, by the facts on the pitch, the most successful England manager we've had for 55 years," Hewitt told reporters at a news conference.

"The bit people don't see as much is the Gareth at camp and the culture he's created.

"Certainly prior to Gareth being the manager of England, there was not the pride of wearing the England shirt. There were the club rivalries we'd read about. The players not getting on.

"He's changed that beyond recognition and I've seen that first hand.

"I'd also say that I don't just work in football, I work in business and I've worked with a lot of chief executives and Gareth's skills — his high IQ and high EQ — would make him a chief exec in any sphere.

"That resilience and accountability [are] the two qualities I admire most. There are no slopy shoulders, he doesn't huff, he's resilient and that's what you want in an England manager."

While offering her support publicly, Hewitt says the reaction of Southgate to private conversations expressing the FA's backing also highlighted his credible demeanour.

"Gareth's reaction, as in everything with that sort of conversation, was that it is his accountability, there's always something to learn," she continued.

"That's why it's refreshing working with somebody like that because that openness to learn is quite remarkable and quite unusual in any sphere."

Southgate took charge, initially as caretaker manager, in 2016 and impressed after Sam Allardyce's one-game tenure, with the former Middlesbrough manager earning the permanent job.

After England qualified for the World Cup in Qatar with victory over San Marino in November 2021, Southgate was handed a three-year extension, keeping him as Three Lions' manager until December 2024.

The World Cup will start just one year after he signed the long-term extension and debate has been sparked over whether conducting negotiations was sensible before the results and performances in that tournament are known, but Hewitt assures the correct decision was made.

"I don't think we would be discussing [the contract] had we not had the recent series of games. Clearly, we did that [agreed the new deal] with proper discussion and thought," she added.

"The fact that there's been a stumble does not make us automatically say 'should we have given him a contract?' It is a red herring.

"We have confidence in Gareth for all the reasons I described and I think that's the important thing. And it's particularly important going into the biggest tournament."

Page 1 of 6
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.