LONDON: Gareth Southgate took a step further towards his own appointment as manager of England after completing a formal interview with a five-man panel led by Football Association chairman Greg Clarke and ceo Martin Glenn.
Southgate, who has been in charge of the national side for the past four matches on an interim basis, outlined his vision at St George’s Park. No other candidates are understood to have been invited for interview.
Joining Clarke and Glenn were technical director Dan Ashworth with advisory roles for League Managers’ Association chairman Howard Wilkinson and former England left-back Graeme Le Saux.
Southgate is expected to be proposed as successor to 61-day Sam Allardyce at an FA board meeting on November 30. His contract would be for four years but with a post-World Cup break clause in the summer of 2018.
England, under the 46-year-old, have taken seven points from nine in World Cup qualifying ties against Malta, Slovenia and Scotland before last week’s entertaining 2-2 friendly draw against Spain.
The former Middlesbrough manager is well versed in FA protocols, planning and procedures from his three-and-a-half years in charge of the under-21s.
Although the interview process occupied three hours at the National Football Centre, finishing around 1pm, several key boxes on Southgate’s application had already been ticked in the course of what had effectively become a six-week audition.
As well as considering Southgate’s own position, a key part of the discussion revolved around his proposed backroom team and other staffing issues.
Chelsea coach Steve Holland has been working as Southgate’s assistant on a part-time agreement but a full-time move to the FA staff could be in the offing.
Blues boss Antonio Conte is keen to keep Holland but Southgate believes the kind of job-split arrangement that served Gary Neville during the Roy Hodgson years is insufficient.
Also waiting for news is Aidy Boothroyd, who has been looking after the England Under-21s in Southgate’s absence.Southgate has been in charge of the Young Lions since 2013 and is a keen supporter of a unified international pathway, adopting similar patterns of play throughout the age groups.