Football

Southgate turns to Golden Generation

Gareth Southgate is ready to tap into the recollections of the "Golden Generation" to ensure his England stars avoid the same fate.

The manager wants his squad to fulfil their potential after previous teams struggled to live up to expectations.

The Three Lions were labelled the Golden Generation between 2001 and 2010 but never got past the quarter-finals of a major tournament, even failing to reach Euro 2008.

Southgate has paid attention to Frank Lampard's comments in the media, spoken to Paul Scholes, and would also not rule out meeting Rio Ferdinand or David Beckham as he looks to learn from them.

"It's important to get a feel of what those guys felt," said Southgate.

"They were a team that won so much in terms of their club careers on the biggest of stages and didn't quite get where they wanted to with England.

"That said, should they be underestimated now? I don't quite know what the reality is.

"I've read Frank talking about playing in a way that was expected of them rather than the way that got the best from him.

"I've got to think about the environment I create for the players to allow them to be as good as they can be, and the tactical system as well, but it is probably the mindset and environment as much as anything.

"Some of Frank's comments resonated and then bumping into Paul as well. These are guys I played with and respect hugely so the more insight I get from them the better.

"Paul admitted he didn't quite play the same way for England as he did with his club.

"There's something around feeling comfortable, being comfortable with the environment.

"Paul mentioned that at United he knew when and where people were going to make the runs.

"It's important we get the best out of the players we've got. None of them are at Scholes' level yet, it's important they recognise that."

Southgate is preparing England to face Scotland in a World Cup qualifier in Glasgow on Saturday before a friendly in France on June 13. -PA SPORT

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