Gareth Southgate says his ambition is for England to be ranked No 1 on the planet.
His facet seemed a good distance from that degree throughout a laboured win over a Malta facet who sit 171st within the standings at Wembley on Friday evening.
Nonetheless, the 2-0 victory meant England have gained Euro 2024 qualifying Group C and are all however assured of a spot in Pot 1 for the event draw subsequent month.
Southgate is now calling on his facet to lift their requirements away to North Macedonia on Monday night. It might be a lifeless rubber however the England boss desires to see constant high-level performances for his group to be thought of the most effective facet on the planet.
“Qualification’s achieved,” mentioned Southgate, whose England group had been ranked fourth within the newest version of the FIFA standings.
FIFA World Rankings
“A few of the gamers have gotten three video games to get right into a squad, some have gotten perhaps three to get right into a group, perhaps a pair extra if we’re speaking in regards to the group.
“There’s some issues we might prefer to see. But when we will be a prime group, then the extent of efficiency has received to be spot on each time.”
Requested if being No 1 drives him on, Southgate mentioned: “Yeah, as a result of in the end you obtain that by means of consistency and you have to play properly within the tournaments as properly as a result of the rating factors are increased within the tournaments.
“Additionally, it units behaviours daily on the coaching pitch, off the coaching pitch.
“If you will be the top-ranked group, there is not any room for sloppiness or casualness. That is received to be our drive.”
England at present sit fourth in FIFA’s world rankings, making it 5 straight years of being within the prime 5.
Their earlier finest since its launch was six months within the prime 5 throughout 1997 and 1998, but there stays loads of criticism for Southgate and hypothesis about his future.
Monday shall be England’s remaining qualifier earlier than the supervisor’s contract expires subsequent 12 months and he smiled when it was talked about that former Soccer Affiliation govt David Dein had mentioned he ought to get a brand new deal.
Requested if he anticipated this being his remaining qualifier within the hotseat, Southgate mentioned: “I have not thought of it, actually.
“I’ve thought in regards to the sport tomorrow and the necessity for a greater efficiency than Friday so that is what I have been specializing in.
“I really feel virtually as if we have virtually talked an excessive amount of in regards to the Euros already and I did not see our focus in the fitting place on the weekend.
“So, it is tomorrow, then it is March, then it is the summer time. And we go from there.”
Southgate downplayed strategies of his future being a distraction however instructed his feedback about their Euros ambitions could have been.
“Nicely, I believe discuss of the summer time was a distraction on Friday in its personal manner,” he added.
“Look, in soccer administration, frankly I believe you need to look no additional than three or 4 video games forward anyway.
“However I believe once you’ve received a event developing, inevitably, as a world supervisor, you are going to be judged on tournaments so everyone earlier than that’s fairly futile, actually.”
England’s remaining camp of the 12 months has been disrupted by absentees.
5 gamers withdrew from the unique squad by means of harm and two extra departed the squad earlier than they flew out to the Balkans.
The FA introduced Kieran Trippier had gone residence as a consequence of a private problem, whereas harm meant Jarrod Bowen left the camp on Sunday.
A sold-out Tose Proeski Area awaits England’s absentee-hit 21-man squad because the Macedonians look to make up for June’s 7-0 hiding at Outdated Trafford.
“We play a group who, though they can not qualify, have super satisfaction and so they’ll be wounded by what occurred in Manchester,” Southgate added.
“We’ve got to be prepared for a very good environment. Full crowd, full stadium.
“We have had a calendar 12 months the place we have been superb, so we wish to end properly.”
England are all-but assured to be in Pot 1 among the many prime seeds for subsequent month’s Euro 2024 draw – however there are nonetheless issues for Gareth Southgate to unravel.
They’ve already achieved all that they got down to within the aggressive video games constructing as much as subsequent summer time’s event forward of their remaining group sport towards North Macedonia on Monday.
So, with this sport a real lifeless rubber, the equal of a world pleasant, what are the priorities for the England supervisor to evaluate over the approaching 90 minutes?