England

Gareth Southgate reacts to England's 2022 World Cup draw

Krishan Davis
Southgate attended the draw ceremony in Doha
Southgate attended the draw ceremony in Doha / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages
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England manager Gareth Southgate has urged caution after his side were given a favourable draw for the group stages of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The 2018 semi-finalists were drawn in Group B at the Doha Exhibition & Convention Center on Friday afternoon, with the USA, Iran and the winner of the playoff between Wales and either Scotland or Ukraine joining them in their pool.

If England progress from Group B as winners as expected then they will face the Group A runners-up, which could be Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal or the Netherlands, while a tie against either holders France or Argentina would likely await in the quarter-finals.

While the group stage draw was widely viewed as a near-best case scenario, Southgate claimed he was solely focussed on getting out of the group.

“The first two in our group (USA and Iran) are teams we’ve not played for quite a while, the third (Wales, Scotland or Ukraine) is a total unknown, a potential British derby, we’ve had plenty of them,” Southgate told the BBC after the draw.

“We’re in on day one, it’s clear what our programme looks like after the Premier League.

“We’ve got to get out the group. What we’ve done well is approaching the group, getting out, regardless of the opposition, and go from there.

“All of our thoughts are with Ukraine, when that tie is played, it’s irrelevant it’s for the rest of us to adapt and adjust."

Asked whether he was happy with England's World Cup group, Southgate added: “When you’re seeded, you get the advantage of missing out on the big six or seven teams. For most of the seeds they would be pleased with the group they get.

"There are some really highly-ranked teams in Pot 2, the USA are an interesting one. I’ve got to know (USA coach) Gregg Berhalter quite well - we were smiling at the end, they’ve got some good players and we know what they’re capable of as a nation.”

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