Luton chief believes Southgate is the perfect appointment for England

Hatters boss Nathan Jones hailed the appointment of Gareth Southgate as permanent England manager last week.

Friday, 9th December 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:49 pm
England manager Gareth Southgate
England manager Gareth Southgate

The Luton chief worked with Southgate while at former club Brighton, when the Three Lions chief was in charge of the U21s, as Jones spent a week at St George’s Park to assist the squad’s preparation for the European Championships.

On the news that the ex-Middlesbrough manager had penned a four year deal recently, Jones said: “I spoke to him the other day and it’s a wonderful appointment.

“He’s paid his dues, he’s a man of real integrity, so he’ll be a figurehead of the national team and he won’t let them down. Tactically he’s good and learning and wants to learn, has an open mind.

“He will have good people around, good coaches, but it just shows that he’s earned that right.

“He has real integrity, so he’ll spearhead the FA in a great way and a great manner and I’m so pleased for him.

“Coming from a Welshman that’s unusual, but for him, I really, really hope he does well and I think it’s the right appointment and well deserved.”

When asked whether Southgate had spoken of a desire for the top job in English football during their time with the U21s, Jones continued: “He never mentioned it, he’s a very humble man as well, so he would never dare to even dream of that I don’t think.

“But I think when he first went in there, whether his ambitions changed, I would imagine, he was probably a little bit more apprehensive.

“Then as he’s gone on, I think he sees himself in there.

“He’s done a wonderful job, should have won three of the four but for late goals in a friendly versus Spain.

“I think he’s handled himself, he’s not afraid to make decisions as we’ve already seen, and one thing he will do is he will be a leader for them and a good ambassador for England national team.

Meanwhile, former Hatters defender Matthew Upson, who played 21 times for England between 2003-2010, added: “It was only heading in that direction for quite some while now if we’re honest.

“I think he’s done enough in the games he’s been in charge of to show he can steady the ship and do a good job.

“In terms of the options that were available, I think it’s a really good, sound option and I hope he does well.

“It’s an interesting appointment in the sense that it’s come from within the FA and I don’t think many managers have got the job from climbing through the organisation before.”

On whether Southgate wil

Upson wasn’t overly fussed as to whether Southgate’s arrival would see a younger-looking England side in the future, adding: “It’s hard enough getting good young players in the Premier League teams, what age they are, I don’t see as relevant.

“I just see it as how many English players can you get in the Premier League who you can then put into the England team who are on form and I just like seeing an England team who are being picked like that.”