‘We’ve had consistent performances over three tournaments. Tonight is the best we’ve played against a major nation since I’ve been in charge, but we have fallen short. In the end, the scoreline is what matters.’
England coach Gareth Southgate cut a disconsolate figure after losing to France in the World Cup quarter-final on Saturday but said he would not make any decision about his future in the heat of the moment.
When England skipper Harry Kane missed a late penalty which would have brought Southgate’s side level with the 2018 champions at Al Bayt Stadium, France held on for a 2-1 victory to set up a semi-final showdown with Morocco.
“Whenever I finish these tournaments, you need time to make the correct decision. Emotionally, you’re going through many different feelings,” Southgate told reporters.
“The energy that it takes in these tournaments is enormous. I want to take the right decision, whatever that is, for the team.
“In the past my feelings have fluctuated in the immediate aftermath of tournaments.”
However, Southgate said he was still proud of his squad after they went “toe-to-toe” with the reigning champions.
“They know how close they’ve come, they know they pushed a top nation all the way, they had more possession, more attempts on goal, I’m very proud of how they’ve been — not only tonight but whole tournament,” he said.
“Young players have announced themselves on the world stage, we showed a different side of ourselves in the way we played, we showed character to come back from going behind tonight.
“We’ve had consistent performances over three tournaments. Tonight is the best we’ve played against a major nation since I’ve been in charge, but we have fallen short. In the end, the scoreline is what matters.”
England’s players were incensed in several moments during the game when the referee’s decisions did not go their way but Southgate chose not to wade into any controversy.
“We’ve lost a game, I don’t think we should be speaking about referees,” he said.
“I can just compliment France and wish them good luck. They’re a fantastic team. They’ve got some brilliant players and Didier (Deschamps) has done a fantastic job. So congratulations to them.”
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