Jones praises 'humble' Southgate for leading England to Euro final

Eddie Jones praises ‘humble’ Gareth Southgate for leading England to Euro 2020 final and says fans are right to ‘go nuts’ as Australian urges Three Lions to go one better than his 2019 Rugby World Cup squad

  • Eddie Jones has hailed ‘humble’ England manager Gareth Southgate 
  • England’s rugby boss says the Three Lions fans deserve to celebrate 
  • Jones urged Southgate’s men to go one better than his 2019 World Cup team
  • The Australian has lost two finals as a manager but won as assistant in 2007 

England rugby coach Eddie Jones knows the agonies and ecstasies of winning and losing major finals more than most in his sport.

And now like the rest of the country he is hooked on Gareth Southgate’s success as the national football manager, one step from Euros glory on Sunday. 

While Jones does not believe England have a monopoly on passionate support, he does see how sporting success unites this nation.


England Rugby boss Eddie Jones is hooked on Gareth Southgate’s success as the national football manager

‘It’s no different anywhere else,’ he said having watched the Denmark semi-final win with his celebrating rugby squad on Wednesday.

‘The English might like to think that, but goodness me I was with Japan when we beat South Africa, and the next game we played we had 35 million watching on television, one in four.

‘Australia in 2003, people were going nuts.

‘The English have the right to go nuts, but it does seem as though in England, sport does tend to galvanise quite a diverse community into supporting one thing, and that’s probably the standout bit of what I see.

Jones does not believe England have a monopoly on passionate support but he does see how sporting success unites this nation

‘It’s obviously given the country a lot to cheer about, so we wish them all the best for the final, and hope they go one better than we did.

‘Gareth’s a humble, curious, very well-educated coach. The thing that impresses me for a young coach, he carries himself with a lot more experience. He’ll know what to do. He doesn’t need any advice from me.’ 

Australian Jones, 61, has lost two World Cup finals – with the Wallabies in 2003 and England in 2019 – but won one as assistant South Africa coach in 2007.

So while he cannot put his finger on the secret ingredient to success he has been captivated by the football team this summer.

‘We all like to think we know everything, but we don’t,’ he added.

‘I’m still scratching my head over the 2019 World Cup. We’ve had a number of people look at it, the preparation.

The Australian has lost two World Cup finals – with the Wallabies in 2003 and England in 2019

‘You take each final in the context of how you come through, how the opposition come through, and try and craft a week’s preparation that takes in enough tactical work, looking after the emotion of the players, working on the social side of the team, trying to get them in the right state to cope with a high pressure game, where everyone knows one team wins and one loses.

‘There’s that photo of Pep Guardiola after the Champions League standing by himself, and Thomas Tuchel has everyone around him hugging and kissing him.

‘The difference between what Pep and Tuchel did for the final, no one knows.. But the result of how you feel at the end of the game is extreme.

‘I’m sure if Pep looks back, there are things he might not have or might have done, but it will change for each final you’re in.’ 

Jones was asked about the romance of Southgate’s journey from the player who missed a penalty at Euro 96 to his success as a manager

Asked about the romance of Southgate’s journey from the player who missed a penalty to see England knocked out of Euro 96, to the manager taking the country to their first major final for 55 years, Jones said: ‘That’s the reason we’re involved, mate. Because there’s always another chance, there’s always another opportunity, we can never say “this is going to happen”.

‘It’s the drug of the coaching and the drug of the sport that makes you want to be involved with it. It just makes you feel good about sport.

‘They keep showing that penalty choke of Gareth, don’t they, and now they’ve got other shots of him, which is fantastic.’




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