Football

England now perennial contenders, says McClaren

England manager Gareth Southgate has given fans hope for the future after their run to the Euro 2020 final and they will be contenders for every tournament they play in, said former national team boss Steve McClaren.

The Three Lions' hopes of winning a first major trophy in 55 years ended in heartbreak with their shoot-out defeat by Italy in Sunday's final at Wembley.

But McClaren said Southgate's squad had learnt valuable lessons from the final, as well as their 2018 World Cup semi-final defeat by Croatia in Russia. England also finished third in the inaugural Nations League Finals in 2019.

"We are contenders now for every competition," McClaren, who was sacked as England manager after failing to qualify for Euro 2008, told the BBC.

"We will learn from the two tournaments, semi-final and a final - they've had moments that will be character building and that is what it is all about.

"Gareth has given us a team to be proud of, he has united the nation and he has given us hope for the future, and in the future there is hope."

England's next shot at silverware will be at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. - REUTERS

Football