GARETH SOUTHGATE is considering quitting — as he is still scarred by his Wolverhampton nightmare.
He was stung by a barrage of criticism after June’s humiliating 4-0 Molineux defeat to Hungary, when he was heavily booed by fans.
Southgate said: “I’ve found large parts of the last 18 months difficult. For everything that I’ve loved about the last few weeks, I still look at how things have been for 18 months.
“What’s been said and what’s been written, the night at Wolves.
“There are lots of things in my head that’s really conflicted at the moment.
“So what I want to make sure, if it’s the right thing to stay, is that I’ve definitely got the energy to do that.
“I don’t want to be four or five months down the line thinking I’ve made the wrong call.
“It’s too important for everybody to get that wrong.”
Southgate, along with assistant Steve Holland, signed a two-year contract extension a year ago that runs until after Euro 2024 in Germany.
The FA — along with the Three Lions squad — are desperate for the pair to stay.
England’s next game is a Euro 2024 qualifier against Italy in March.
If Southgate walks away, it would leave the FA in a nightmare situation as there is no obvious successor.
The 52-year-old added: “After every tournament, I’ve sat with everybody at the FA and talked things through and I think that’s the right process to go through again.
“It has been difficult to really think things through properly in those following few weeks.
“It takes so much energy out of you and you have so much going through your mind.
“I want to make the right decision either way.
“I don’t think now is the time to make a decision like that. Neither are the next few days, really.”
Southgate also revealed he cannot shake off the disappointment of losing the Euro 2020 final to Italy on penalties.
He admitted: “I don’t think I have got over the last one but this feels a little bit different, as I’m not sure what more we could have done.”
England’s players returned home yesterday and will now link up with their clubs.
The manager said: “I have very few regrets about the whole thing.
“On the big stage I know how the rest of the world are looking at us now.
“Ultimately, we have fallen short and I also have to accept that.
“But we are feeding at the top table of European and world football consistently now.
“If we are in that place with the depth of squad we have got, that is a difficult and exciting time for England.
“It is a difficult time for everybody and I think the players have represented them in the right way.
“They’ve played in the right way and we hope everybody has enjoyed the journey.
“We now have some young players with big-match experience already and a core of a group who will be together for a long while.”
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