Southgate determined to build winning culture with England


FILE PHOTO: Football Soccer Britain - England - Gareth Southgate Press Conference - Wembley Stadium - 1/12/16 England Manager Gareth Southgate poses after the press conference Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine Livepic

(Reuters) - England have flattered to deceive on the big stage over the last 55 years and manager Gareth Southgate has challenged his players to establish themselves among the elite national outfits by competing for major trophies on a regular basis.

Southgate's side exceeded expectations to reach the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and continued their steady progress by finishing third in the following year's UEFA Nations League.

Having failed to win a major trophy since lifting the World Cup on home soil in 1966, England have a chance to do it at Wembley in July when it hosts the final of the rescheduled European Championship.

"We know it has been a long time since England have had that sort of success, we have made progress over the last few years and we have got to keep that progress going," Southgate told Sky Sports.

"We have got to be looking to be a country that is constantly at those latter stages of the tournaments which is what the really big football nations do.

"I know we always put ourselves in that bracket but our history doesn't necessarily align with that. Those big nations that have constantly succeeded have always been in those latter stages and we have got to be doing that."

Southgate also opened up about the rising cases of online abuse in English football, saying the authorities must strike a balance between using social media platforms to interact with fans and boycotting the medium altogether.

Scottish giants Rangers as well as English Championship clubs Swansea City and Birmingham City are on a one-week break from social media following a spate of racial attacks on their players, while Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson handed control of his accounts over to an anti-cyberbullying charity.

"We have to lobby in the right places for change, and better policing of sites so that people cannot just post what they want," Southgate said.

"We understand that's a complex situation, but the big message is that abuse of any kind online is simply not acceptable."

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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