Gareth Southgate aiming to make England world's best side

Interim England manager Gareth Southgate on the touchline during the international friendly with Spain at Wembley on November 15, 2016
© SilverHub
England manager Gareth Southgate insists that players' past reputation will count for little when selecting his squad, as he aims to transform the Three Lions' fortunes.

Gareth Southgate has claimed that he will not settle for anything less than top spot in the rankings as he aims to end England's long wait for success.

The 46-year-old was ushered in as the Three Lions' third boss in the space of five months last year, following the departures of Roy Hodgson and Sam Allardyce in differing circumstances.

Southgate has made a solid start at Wembley by winning two and drawing two of his four interim games in charge, before being handed the position on a full-time basis in November.

Tasked with transforming England's fortunes following two particularly poor showings in back-to-back major tournaments, the former Middlesbrough chief is looking to take inspiration from the turnaround in form of the nation's rugby side under Eddie Jones.

"I'm very conscious I've got to get the balance right because ultimately my responsibility is to produce a winning England team," he told The Telegraph. "I never pick on reputation - form has to come into it. You have to look at the opposition and the type of game you're expecting and select the players best suited to that.

"We have players of great potential but at the moment we're 13th in the world. We've got to be better, everything we do has got to be better. Even being second in the world isn't good enough, we have to be the best we can be, and that's the best.

"It's clear [the England rugby side] don't believe they can be beaten. That plays a huge role. You get a sense of the culture that's there. One of the things I was interested in was that culture. How are they working? How do they deliver? Because that's what we are trying to take into the England team: how do we create an environment that will bring the best out of the players?"

England's next outing is a trip to face Germany at the Westfalenstadion on March 22, before a home World Cup 2018 qualifier against Lithuania four days later.

Interim manager Gareth Southgate watches on during England training on October 4, 2016
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