Eric Dier believes it is “fantastic” that England manager Gareth Southgate has distanced himself from a return to club football as the Three Lions set their sights on Euro 2020 glory.
On the eve of their Nations League third-place play-off win, on penalties against Switzerland, it was put to Southgate that he was a name linked with the manager’s role at Chelsea.
It is little surprise that the former Middlesbrough boss has been on several shortlists for elite posts after he guided England to the World Cup semi-finals last summer.
He followed that up with qualification for the inaugural Nations League finals and, after falling to Holland in the final four, England secured third place with a 6-5 shoot-out win following a goalless draw in Guimaraes.
Attention now turns to going one better at the European Championships, with Dier pleased that Southgate’s future has been put to bed a year before the tournament.
“Yes, it’s fantastic,” the Tottenham man said when asked if it was good that Southgate had rubbished rumours of his departure.
“He has shown his commitment which is a great thing for us. I think it’s great. We are all really happy with the manager and everything he does for us.
“The way he carries himself, the way he looks after us. The relationship between the players and the manager is fantastic.
“He has built an incredible relationship between us and the fans, the nation. The way he acts is something that we as players look up to and follow. He does things in the best way.”
If England go all the way at Euro 2020, the semi-final and final will see them on home turf at Wembley.
That is something else Dier, who played frequently at the national stadium with Tottenham while their new ground was under construction, is looking at as a positive as he heads for his summer break.
“It doesn’t really matter where the Championships are being held, you want to win it,” he added. “But being in England does make it extra for us. Hopefully we can get to the semi-finals and final and the fans can play a huge part.
“It would be something of a plus to be playing those games at Wembley in front of our own fans. The support will be fantastic and there will be more of a push than if we were playing in a different place.”
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