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England U21s manager Gareth Southgate wants to keep role despite Euros exit


England U21s manager Gareth Southgate wants to stay in the role despite the side's disappointing display at the U21 European Championships.

The Young Lions lost two of their three group games, with a 3-1 defeat by Italy on Wednesday seeing them finish bottom of the group.

It will be seen as a missed opportunity for a side who have several players who played regularly in the Premier League last season, including the likes of Harry Kane and Danny Ings.

England's solitary win was arguably their worst performance when compared with the amount of chances created against both Italy and during their 1-0 defeat to Portugal in their opening game.

This tournament will be a culmination of the last two years for many of these players, with the likes of Kane probably heading into the senior national side, whilst others will no longer be eligible to play for the side.

Who will lead the next crop of young England stars has been the cause of some discussion, with questions raised over manager Southgate's future in the role.

Whilst he admits that the tournament was a disappointment, he still believes he can do the job, but admits it won't be up to him.

"I'm contracted to stay on, I'd like to stay on," said Southgate, whose deal runs until 2017.

"I think we've had some massive success stories in terms of individuals that have come through the programme."

"We need to expose our players more to this type of environment, where there is intense pressure, where they have to produce."

"They need more of it at club level and that would help internationally but, collectively and individually, they would have learned a lot from the last 10 days."

Another factor of England's early exit was the omission of several eligible players from the squad, who were instead with the senior side for a friendly against Ireland and Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia.

Critics may now point to the absence of the likes of Raheem Sterling and Jack Wilshere, who scored his first two senior England goals against Slovenia, as a reason for U21 side's failure.

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