Rugby ‘People now view England as a threat’ – Q&A with England manager Southgate

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‘England are a threat’ – Gareth Southgate on his squad, Wembley & Euro 96

England manager Gareth Southgate believes his team will be seen as a threat to win Euro 2020 next summer.

After a surprise run to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia last year, England are joint bookmakers’ favourites along with France to win the tournament.

The Three Lions will play all three group games at Wembley, which will also host the semi-finals and final.

“We’ve gained some respect and people would view us as a threat, which certainly wasn’t the case ahead of Russia,” Southgate told BBC Sport.

“We also know we have got to improve to another level.

“It’s hard to assess exactly where we are after this qualifying campaign. But if we look at a World Cup semi-final, a Nations League semi-final, and qualifying with the most goals in Europe, we have done all we can and we are on a good track.”

The draw for the finals takes place on Saturday in Bucharest (live on BBC 2, 17:00 GMT).

England already know they will be in Group D at Euro 2020. They will be joined by one of France, Poland, Croatia and Switzerland from Pot Two, as well as one from Portugal, Turkey, Austria, the Czech Republic and Sweden from Pot Three.

If Scotland come through their play-offs in March, they will play England at Wembley.

  • Euro 2020 draw – what you need to know

Before the draw, BBC sports editor Dan Roan spoke to Southgate to get his thoughts on where England are as they prepare to stage part of a major tournament for the first time since Euro 96.

We sat down this time two years ago in Moscow for the World Cup. How does it feel now, before your second major tournament in the job?

We’re better prepared as a whole staff for what lies ahead, the realisation that what got us to this point won’t be enough to be successful in the summer. So we are a more experienced group of staff for sure, the playing squad is more experienced in some aspects, and in others we are very young again.

So we are excited, but the continuity of thinking is that we are excited by the challenge ahead.

Gareth Southgate has won 24 of the 41 matches in which he has been in charge of England

How much further advanced is the team after reaching the World Cup semi-finals? And what is the difference between this group and those that have struggled in the past?

You could argue that we had more experienced teams. I don’t know about more talented, but we certainly had teams that had Champions League winners throughout the squad and a high number of caps. This is a different time for English football.

We have a lot of young, exciting players coming through, they are used to working at St George’s Par

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