Gareth Southgate the right man for England, says West Ham's Michail Antonio

BURTON-UPON-TRENT, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 04:  Interim England manager Gareth Southgate speaks with Michail Antonio during an England training session at St Geo
Image: Michail Antonio has backed Gareth Southgate for the permanent England job

Gareth Southgate is the right man for the England job because of his special relationship with the players, according to Michail Antonio.

Antonio was included in Southgate's first England squad for games against Malta and Slovenia in October and the West Ham midfielder was impressed with the interim boss.

Southgate has completed a formal interview with the Football Association's five-man panel and could be confirmed as permanent manager this week.

The 46-year-old spent three and a half years with England U21s and oversaw two wins and two draws from his four matches in temporary charge.

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"I feel he does look like the right man for the job," Antonio said. "He's young enough to bond with the boys and he's got a relationship with quite a few of the boys through the U21s.

"We haven't had that for the last few years, someone who is young, who has actually got a relationship with the boys before he's met them so he knows what to do with them, and it shows because he's doing well.

"The 2-2 draw with Spain, people say it's a friendly and they didn't turn it on, but Spain are still a quality team."

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Michail Antonio and Marcus Rashford tangle
Image: Antonio and Marcus Rashford tangle during the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford

Some have questioned Southgate's experience in motivating top players but Antonio insists the former Middlesbrough manager has all the right attributes.

"I'd say he's a great tactician," Antonio said. "He wants us to play and the way he trusts the players, he believes the boys can do it, that they are good enough to do it.

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"To play for England you have to be quality so it's just about working out the kinks and making the players believe in themselves and have the confidence to play.

"He knows all the players. You can't be around players and not know what makes them tick. That's the difference between him and other managers.

Michail Antonio during an England training session on Tuesday
Image: Antonio during an England training session at St Georges Park

Antonio has scored six goals this season and believes that if he keeps his form then more England caps will come, and said he would have the faith of Southgate.

"I've only spoken to him the one time I wasn't in the squad," Antonio said.

England manager Gareth Southgate supervises a training session
Image: England were unbeaten in four under Southgate's watch

"He just said I wasn't in it, that players were back from injury but that if anyone got injured he wouldn't hesitate to give me a call.

"I know it's about working hard and playing well enough in the Premier League that it makes it difficult not to choose me."

Michail Antonio was at an event to showcase the new Oculus Touch controllers from the Facebook-owned virtual reality company, in London. Oculus Touch controllers go on general sale at selected retailers in the UK on 6th December.

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