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Sunday, April 14, 2024

‘I thought’: Gary Neville admits he’s changed his mind on the prospect of Gareth Southgate being Man Utd boss

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Manchester United legends Roy Keane and Gary Neville have shared their thoughts on the possibility of Gareth Southgate taking over at Old Trafford.

Despite Sunday’s thrilling 4-3 FA Cup quarter-final triumph over Liverpool, the pressure remains intense on manager Erik ten Hag.

The Dutchman’s second season in charge of Manchester United has not gone to plan, with his side regressing massively.

Though they could still win silverware, a Champions League place is looking increasingly unlikely unless consistency can finally be found in the finals months of the campaign.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his Ineos Group are now in charge of football operations and big changes are being made at board level.

Dan Ashworth is being pursued as sporting director and if he’s appointed he may want to make his own managerial appointment, especially if Ten Hag doesn’t deliver some success come May.

England boss Gareth Southgate has been heavily linked this week. Now Gary Neville and Roy Keane have given their verdicts on the possibility of him becoming United manager.

  • READ MORE: Who is Gary Neville? Step into the world of the Manchester United legend turned top-tier pundit

Roy Keane and Gary Neville.

Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

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Speaking on the Stick to Football podcast, Keane said: “I can see that happening, yeah.

“Obviously, everyone’s thinking he’s probably going to leave England this summer if he has a good championship, thinking if they can win it.

“If they don’t, maybe you’ve ran your race with him.

“His connection to Dan Ashworth who he worked with previously. Yeah, it would not surprise me. I can see where Gareth is being linked.”

Neville added: “I thought I never saw Gareth as a Manchester United manager.

“Psychologically, I never saw that. But I can see it now with obviously Dan Ashworth comes in.

“I think what does Erik ten Hag need to do to stay in, is the FA Cup enough or does he need to get top four?”

What is the connection between Gareth Southgate and Dan Ashworth?

After already securing Omar Berrada from Manchester City as the new CEO, United are hoping to make Newcastle United’s Dan Ashworth their new sporting director.

Before joining Brighton in 2019 and then moving to Newcastle three years later, Ashworth worked as director of elite development at the FA.

The 53-year-old began the role in 2012 and is one of the masterminds behind the ‘England DNA’ development plan which has helped England create countless world-class players in the years since.

Southgate took charge of England in 2016 and worked alongside Ashworth for three years.

The Three Lions have enjoyed their best tournament showings since 1966 under Southgate and he has repeatedly credited Ashworth for having a positive impact on the side.

Likewise, Ashworth has praised Southgate before, too, labelling him an ‘exceptional leader’ in 2018.

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