England manager Gareth Southgate is ‘everything a leader should be’, says Gary Neville

The Three Lions boss has inspired a team that the nation is proud of en route to Sunday’s final

Jamie Braidwood
Wednesday 07 July 2021 23:17 BST
Fans in Trafalgar Square celebrate England's first goal

England manager Gareth Southgate is “everything a leader should be”, according to Gary Neville, after the Three Lions defeated Denmark to reach the final of Euro 2020.

Southgate has become the first England manager since Sir Alf Ramsey in 1966 to take the country to a final of a major tournament, where they will play Italy at Wembley on Sunday.

Harry Kane’s goal in extra time secured a 2-1 win for England against Denmark and Southgate led euphoric scenes on the pitch after the final whistle, as Neville watched on.

“The standard of leaders in this country over the last couple of years has been poor but looking at that man there [Southgate] he is everything a leader should be,” Neville said on ITV.

“Respectful, humble, tells the truth, genuine. He’s fantastic Gareth Southgate and he’s done a great job.”

England’s Raheem Sterling was praised by Ian Wright after the forward yet again proved decisive thanks to another sensational performance at the tournament.

“I only need to say one name, and that's Raheem Sterling for me,” said Wright. “He’s attacked this tournament. He’s done brilliant again today, I believe he was the difference. I’m delighted for him, I’m delighted for Gareth, I’m delighted for the whole country.”

While the penalty that gave Kane the opportunity to score appeared soft, Roy Keane said England deserved to go through on the balance of play.

“Courage, character, they showed leadership,” Keane added. “Gareth deserves all the credit in the world. He’s done a brilliant job. I’m delighted for him.

“England were lucky with the penalty but they certainly deserved it.”

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