England coach urges footballers to improve FIFA rankings

London, Feb 15 (IANS) England coach Gareth Southgate’s priority is to improve on their current FIFA world ranking of 13th.

Southgate said England’s standing in world football was “not good enough” and he would not be satisfied until the Three Lions were at the top.

“We have players of great potential but at the moment we are 13th in the world,” Southgate told the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday.

“We’ve got to be better — everything we do has got to be better. Even being second in the world is not good enough. We have to be the best we can be, and that is the best,” he added.

Since Southgate took over from Sam Allardyce, England have won two and drawn two of their four games.

“Hard work is not the phrase. Everyone can work hard. We have to work smartly on how we can bridge that gap, as it’s a significant one. But there are players not just in this current squad but coming through our age groups who can achieve that,” he said.

The former defender who missed a penalty as England were beaten by Germany in a dramatic shootout in Euro 1996 said: “Every time you play for England, you’ve got the chance to make history.”

“Do they want to be remembered? I know in my generation we got close. This is the current crop’s chance,” he added.

England will take on Germany in a friendly on March 22.

–IANS

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