Gareth Southgate: It was important to step up for England after Allardyce exit

Gareth Southgate
Middlesbrough were relegated to the Championship under Gareth Southgate in 2009

Gareth Southgate said it was "important to step forward" and take charge of the England national team following Sam Allardyce's departure as manager.

Southgate, 46, steps up from his role as Under-21 boss and will lead the senior team for the next four games.

Allardyce left his post on Tuesday following a newspaper investigation claiming he offered advice on how to "get around" rules on player transfers.

"The future is certainly bright for this England team," said Southgate.

In June, the former England defender said he had no interest in succeeding Roy Hodgson, who quit as boss following a shock loss to Iceland at Euro 2016.

"It's obviously been a difficult situation for the FA, but it was important that there was some stability and continuity for everybody," he said.

"From my point of view, it was important to step forward and give us the best possible chance to win these games.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge and I'm confident that we can get good results. We have an excellent group of players."

Sam Allardyce: Ex-England boss says 'entrapment has won'

Meanwhile, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe have reiterated their commitment to their respective clubs.

Howe described the England vacancy as "the ultimate job" but said he would not get "distracted" from his role at Bournemouth.

Wenger, whose contract with the Gunners runs out at the end of the season, said he was "focused 100% on Arsenal".

Alan Pardew said managing England was the "pinnacle for any Englishman's career" but said he was entirely focused on his job with Crystal Palace.

"The chairman and I have a great relationship," he said.

"They have shown me great faith and I have a team I have a good feeling about. This football club at this time is where I want to be."

USA boss Jurgen Klinsmann has also ruled himself out, while Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez said there was "no chance"external-link he would leave the Magpies.

Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin told BBC Radio 5 live the England job would break, rather than make, a manager.

What lasted longer than Allardyce's 67-day reign?

"If you are under 50, it could ruin your career," he said. "It is like being the Prime Minister. Most walk out smiling because they are glad it is over. Expectation is currently low, but that changes quickly."

Southgate has managed England Under-21s since 2013 and was previously in charge of Middlesbrough from 2006 to 2009.

His first game in charge will be a World Cup 2018 qualifier against Group F rivals Malta at Wembley on 8 October.

Former England striker Michael Owen believes the Southgate is now in prime position to land the job on a full-time basis, arguing that it will "take a brave man" to take it off him if he wins all four games he is in charge for.

Pardew 'proud' to be linked with England


BBC chief football writer Phil McNulty

The Arsenal manager's credentials easily outstrip those of the other candidates being touted as Allardyce's replacement.

At 66, Wenger might even share Allardyce's view when he was appointed that his age and experience make him the perfect fit for international management.

Wenger is the perfect next England manager with the ideal credentials and track record if the FA can formulate a plan to somehow attract him to what many now call an impossible job.

Read more from Phil - Why the FA should wait for Wenger

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