'I think it has to be the best' - England boss Gareth Southgate ranks reaching Euros final in Germany as best achievement

Gareth Southgate, Head Coach of England, celebrates after the team's victory in the UEFA EURO 2024 semi-final match between Netherlands and England at Football Stadium Dortmund on July 10, 2024 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Richard Pelham/Getty Images)Gareth Southgate, Head Coach of England, celebrates after the team's victory in the UEFA EURO 2024 semi-final match between Netherlands and England at Football Stadium Dortmund on July 10, 2024 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Richard Pelham/Getty Images)
Gareth Southgate, Head Coach of England, celebrates after the team's victory in the UEFA EURO 2024 semi-final match between Netherlands and England at Football Stadium Dortmund on July 10, 2024 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Richard Pelham/Getty Images)
Former Crawley schoolboy Gareth Southgate said reaching the Euros final in Germany is his best achievement as England boss.

England reached the European Championship final after a dramatic 2-1 win over the Netherlands in Dortmund – with substitutes Cole Palmer combining for the late winner. They now face favourites Spain in the final on Sunday.

When asked where this ranks in his achievements as England manager, Southgate said: “I think it has to be the best. It’s another landmark. We played so well throughout the game, it was a complicated game. We had to keep changing how we were, defensively especially.

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"But I thought we caused them problems all night and the end was so special for the squad and again it’s an example of what the squad is giving to the cause.”

Southgate, who grew up in Crawley and when to Hazelwick and Pound Hill Juniors schools, has been much-maligned during the tournament for lack lustre performances and being slow in making substitutions.

But he got them right tonight. “Some times it works like that,” he said. “The most important thing is the squad is ready to come into the game. You spend a lot of time with everyone and their attitude has been exemplary and I am so chuffed for Ollie.

“We just felt energy wise, we were beginning to lose a bit of pressure with Harry taking the knock in the first half. And we felt Ollie could press and he can make those little runs behind. We thought it was a good chance to try him.”

And he was full of praise for the fans. He said: “They are still here! You were looking at the numbers and you think we were playing away but it wasn’t with the noise, that’s for sure.”