Gareth Southgate says his ambition is for England to be ranked No 1 in the world.
His aspect seemed a good distance from that degree throughout a laboured win over a Malta aspect who sit 171st in the standings at Wembley on Friday night time.
However, the 2-0 victory meant England have received Euro 2024 qualifying Group C and are all however assured of a spot in Pot 1 for the event draw subsequent month.
Southgate is now calling on his aspect to increase their requirements away to North Macedonia on Monday night. It might be a useless rubber however the England boss desires to see constant high-level performances for his workforce to be thought of the finest aspect on the planet.
“Qualification’s done,” stated Southgate, whose England workforce have been ranked fourth in the newest version of the FIFA standings.
FIFA World Rankings
“Some of the gamers have gotten three video games to get right into a squad, some have gotten possibly three to get right into a workforce, possibly a pair extra if we’re speaking about the workforce.
“There’s some things we’d like to see. But if we’re going to be a top team, then the level of performance has got to be spot on every time.”
Asked if being No 1 drives him on, Southgate stated: “Yeah, because ultimately you achieve that through consistency and you’ve got to play well in the tournaments as well because the ranking points are higher in the tournaments.
“Also, it units behaviours daily on the coaching pitch, off the coaching pitch.
“If you are going to be the top-ranked team, there’s no room for sloppiness or casualness. That’s got to be our drive.”
England at the moment sit fourth in FIFA’s world rankings, making it 5 straight years of being in the high 5.
Their earlier finest since its launch was six months in the high 5 throughout 1997 and 1998, but there stays lots of criticism for Southgate and hypothesis about his future.
Monday will be England’s ultimate qualifier earlier than the supervisor’s contract expires subsequent 12 months and he smiled when it was talked about that former Football Association govt David Dein had stated he ought to get a brand new deal.
Asked if he anticipated this being his ultimate qualifier in the hotseat, Southgate stated: “I haven’t thought about it, really.
“I’ve considered the sport tomorrow and the want for a greater efficiency than Friday so that is what I’ve been specializing in.
“I feel almost as if we’ve almost talked too much about the Euros already and I didn’t see our focus in the right place at the weekend.
“So, it is tomorrow, then it is March, then it is the summer time. And we go from there.”
Southgate downplayed strategies of his future being a distraction however steered his feedback about their Euros ambitions might have been.
“Well, I think talk of the summer was a distraction on Friday in its own way,” he added.
“Look, in football management, frankly I think you should look no further than three or four games ahead anyway.
“But I feel whenever you’ve acquired a event arising, inevitably, as a world supervisor, you are going to be judged on tournaments so all people earlier than that is fairly futile, actually.”
England’s final camp of the year has been disrupted by absentees.
Five players withdrew from the original squad through injury and two more departed the squad before they flew out to the Balkans.
The FA announced Kieran Trippier had gone home due to a personal issue, while injury meant Jarrod Bowen left the camp on Sunday.
A sold-out Tose Proeski Arena awaits England’s absentee-hit 21-man squad as the Macedonians look to make up for June’s 7-0 hiding at Old Trafford.
“We play a workforce who, though they cannot qualify, have great satisfaction they usually’ll be wounded by what occurred in Manchester,” Southgate added.
“We have to be prepared for a extremely good environment. Full crowd, full stadium.
“We’ve had a calendar year where we’ve been very good, so we want to finish well.”
Analysis: North Macedonia take a look at will set tone for England ahead of Euro 2024
England are all-but assured to be in Pot 1 amongst the high seeds for subsequent month’s Euro 2024 draw – however there are nonetheless issues for Gareth Southgate to remedy.
They have already achieved all that they set out to in the aggressive video games build up to subsequent summer time’s event ahead of their ultimate group sport towards North Macedonia on Monday.
So, with this sport a real useless rubber, the equal of a world pleasant, what are the priorities for the England supervisor to assess over the coming 90 minutes?
Sky Sports News senior reporter Rob Dorsett analyses what the England boss will be looking for.