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Gareth Southgate demands best behaviour to give England a shot at glory

Gareth Southgate demands best behaviour to give England a shot at glory
By PA Sport

02/12/2016 at 07:33

England manager Gareth Southgate has warned his players any repeat of last month's antics could be harmful to the team's chances of success.

England manager Gareth Southgate has warned his players any repeat of last month's antics could be harmful to the team's chances of success.

Speculation came to an end this week as the 46-year-old penned a four-year deal to permanently succeed Sam Allardyce after a four-match interim stint.

The high point of the spell was a 3-0 defeat of oldest foes Scotland in World Cup qualification, yet the subsequent break before the Spain friendly on November 15 led to the lowest ebb as pictures emerged of Wayne Rooney looking the worse for wear.

England's captain was not alone and other squad members were reportedly seen out late at night, leading free time to be reassessed as Southgate starts to implement his ideas.

"Where I will be clear is that there is a level of expectation when you are with England," the new manager said.

"We talk about pressure and we spend most of our time trying to relieve it, so if we put ourselves in positions where we are going to increase that pressure it is not intelligent.

"I think it is important as a playing squad and group of staff we recognise that and we want to be a top team, so if we want that everything we do has to be geared towards improving.

"The way we look after ourselves, there has to be time to unwind, there is a time to have a glass of beer or wine, but that has got to be done at the appropriate time and at the right level if we aren't going to inhibit the way we perform.

"If we think we are good enough to play against the best and give ourselves a slight handicap along the way, good luck with that."

Southgate has plenty of time to review the current set-up given his first match in permanent charge is not until March 22, a trip to face Germany.

The 57-cap former defender intends to create a "high-performance culture" - one where he does not believe draconian rules will work but where clear "lines of what is acceptable and what isn't" will.

Southgate used the All Blacks as an example to follow on Thursday, when his unveiling meant a meeting with England rugby union coach Eddie Jones had to be postponed.

Australian Jones has questioned the leadership culture of a team that required a curfew after the controversy surrounding Rooney and co, while 13 straight Test wins after the miserable World Cup suggest a level of ownership and accountability within the rugby ranks.

"You've got to have that switch-off, every elite sportsman has got to have that switch-off," Southgate said.

"But to what degree that is and what that looks like, does need some ... I won't say 'management' but, come on, how good do we want to be?

"What do we want to be as we go forward? Every athlete has that decision to make in terms of their, I won't say 'sacrifice', but decisions that they are going to make. And we've got good competition for places.

"So the days are gone from when I was younger, where we did have beers after a game. Fish and chips and beer on the way home on the coach, and probably fall off the bus.

"The rest of the league aren't doing that now. The rest of the world aren't doing that.

"So we are competing in a different landscape and we have to be as professional and well prepared as everybody else before we even start looking at how good we are technically or tactically."

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