Gareth Southgate: England boss confirms he had coronavirus

Gareth Southgate confirms reports he privately battled with coronavirus in October; speaking after England's Nations League loss to Belgium, Southgate said he has fully recovered

England manager Gareth Southgate
Image: England manager Gareth Southgate has recovered from coronavirus

England manager Gareth Southgate has confirmed he had coronavirus but says his symptoms were only mild.

Reports emerged over the weekend that Southgate had privately battled with the disease last month, keeping the news of his positive test a secret from any of his England players.

Southgate, speaking after Sunday's 2-0 defeat to Belgium in the Nations League, said he had fully recovered from the virus.

"I did have the virus, I was fortunate enough not to have had it as seriously as so many people in our country," said the England manager.

"But it wasn't pleasant or something you'd choose to have. Everything is fine now."

England players and staff are regularly tested for coronavirus and Southgate has reportedly returned numerous negative tests.

Belgium end England's Nations League hopes

England's hopes of making back-to-back Nations League finals are over after they fell to a 2-0 defeat away to world No 1 side Belgium.

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Highlights of the Nations League Group A2 match between Belgium and England

Youri Tielemans' deflected drive on 10 minutes got the hosts off to a fast start in Leuven and, after England passed up a couple of good opportunities to hit back immediately, Dries Mertens (23) clipped home a fine free-kick after a controversial foul was called against Declan Rice.

England spent most of the remainder of the match on the front foot, with half-chances falling to Mason Mount, Jack Grealish and Harry Kane who, on his 50th appearance for his country, had seen an earlier header cleared off the line by Romelu Lukaku.

Belgium 2-0 England - Nations League report

What is England's best formation?

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Jamie Redknapp and Ashley Cole analyse England's selection and formation problems after their Nations League hopes were ended by Belgium

Is 3-4-3 the answer for England? That was the question put to the England manager, his captain and the Sky Sports pundits after the team's Nations League hopes were ended with a 2-0 defeat away to Belgium on Sunday.

In the aftermath of the defeat, there was debate over whether England need a three-man defence, if their midfield personnel is suitable for the formation and what they need in attack to hit the net against the world's best sides.

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