'Nice man' Gareth Southgate lauded by Crawley Town manager John Yems

Crawley Town boss John Yems has sung the praises of England manager Gareth Southgate ahead of their huge Euro 2020 quarter-final clash with Ukraine tomorrow evening.

Southgate, who grew up in Crawley and went to school at Pound Hill and Hazelwick schools, will pit his wits against former AC Milan and Chelsea forward Andriy Shevchenko’s Ukraine in Rome at 8pm on Saturday, looking to secure England’s place in a European Championship semi-final for the first time since 1996.

The former Middlesbrough and Aston Villa defender masterminded England’s famous 2-0 win over old rivals Germany in the round of 16 on Tuesday - their first victory over Germany in a knockout match since the 1966 World Cup final, and just their second knockout stage win in the European Championship after their penalty shootout triumph against Spain at Euro 1996.

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Yems couldn’t speak highly enough of Southgate, but admitted that he hadn’t watched much of England’s Euro 2020 campaign.

Crawley Town boss John Yems has sung England manager Gareth Southgate's praises. Picture by Michael Regan/Getty Images

The Reds boss said: “Gareth is a nice man. I’ve been in his company and met him a few times, going back to my Crystal Palace days.

“He’s a good lad Gareth. He’s just a nice fella.

“But I haven’t really been watching it. From my point of view, I’ve got enough to worry about here!

“Of course you want to see England do well because you’re an Englishman.

“But to be fair, it’s a million miles away from our level.

“I like tournaments where you win or lose and you’re going home, but it keeps everyone happy.”