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Gareth Southgate raises bar in England’s hunt for titles

More to come: Southgate is aiming high PICTURE: REX

ENGLAND manager Gareth Southgate has warned he does not want to be in charge of a side who are happy to be also-rans.

The national team secured third place at the inaugural Nations League Finals in Portugal by beating Switzerland on penalties on Sunday, a year on from finishing fourth at the World Cup.

But glaring errors against Holland cost them a place in the final and England will now be expected to do better at what is effectively a home European Championship next year.

Southgate, who will travel to the Under-21 Euros, which starts on Sunday, issued a stark warning to his players, who he will not see again until the autumn.

‘We brought incredible support here over the last four days so that expectation’s there and we want to deliver for them,’ he said.

‘If we want to be a team that’s happy to float along to the quarter-finals of a tournament, I don’t think too many of us want to be involved in that.’

The 48-year-old said England cannot make the same mistakes as they did in Guimaraes if they are to deliver silverware, adding: ‘We created an environment that took a lot of pressure off the players but there comes a point where actually we’ve got to demand more and find another edge.

‘If people can’t cope with it, they’re not going to be able to cope with it under pressure.

‘I’ve got to make sure I’m constantly raising the bar and make sure we don’t allow any sloppiness to creep in.’