GARETH SOUTHGATE remained coy about his future as England manager after suffering World Cup elimination.
The Three Lions suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to France in the 2022 World Cup quarter-finals at the Al Bayt Stadium.
Les Bleus opened the scoring with Aurelien Tchouameni’s long-range stunner and Harry Kane levelled things up from the penalty spot before Olivier Giroud extended his scoring record with 53 goals.
Kane had the chance to equalise once more with another spot-kick but he ballooned it over the bar.
Southgate has a contract until 2024 but his future still appears to remain up for discussion after another World Cup heartbreak for England.
The 52-year-old tactician confirmed there will be talks with the FA once the team flies back from Qatar and a decision will later be made.
Southgate said in his post-match interview: “After every tournament we have sat and reviewed and reflected and that needs a bit of time to make sure everyone makes the right decisions.”
The England manager praised his players’ performance and insists they deserved better as they “couldn’t have given any more”.
Southgate added: “The performance deserved better but in the end goals are decisive.
“I just said to the players they couldn’t have given any more. They played really well against a top team. There’s fine margins and things at both ends that decided the game.
“The way this group has progressed through this tournament has been fantastic.”
Southgate insists the reason behind England’s elimination is not down to them “lacking ruthlessness” against France.
He said when asked if his players lacked a ruthless edge: “No. At key moments, you’re playing a high level game where chances will be created.
“And in most of the big moments we were in the right place. We had more shots on goal, our keeper has made a couple of good saves for us but it was a game of fine margins.”
Southgate also defended Kane after his penalty miss insisting England “win and lose as a team”.
He said: “We win and lose as a team. We let a couple in and missed a few chances. Harry has been incredible for us and so reliable in those sorts of situations. We wouldn’t be here but the number of goals he has scored for us.”
England put together a brave performance against France but suffered some questionable decisions by referee Wilton Sampaio.
Southgate, though, refused to be dragged into all the criticism as he considers such talk to be “pointless”.
He stated: “It’s pointless me going into that. I’d rather talk about our players and to congratulate France – they know they’ve been in a hell of a game.We have given a top team a game. We couldn’t have done any more.”
However, Southgate conceded that England missed a major opportunity to win the World Cup.
He added: “Yeah. We were here to win the tournament.
“We believed we could and we showed with our performance tonight against the reigning champions that we could have done that.”