GARETH SOUTHGATE penned a handwritten note to members of his staff in a rallying cry ahead of the World Cup.
Jim Lucas, England’s social media man for the World Cup campaign, gave an incredible insight into the England boss’ leadership following the heartbreaking semi-final defeat to Croatia last night.
Posting a picture of a letter written by Southgate, Lucas wrote: “When we arrived in Repino a month ago, this was on my bed.
“I’ve looked at it every day since – and it was the first thing I looked at when we got back this morning. I am so proud to work for this team and this manager.”
In the note, written in black pen, Southgate said: “Jim – The more I see, the more important it is that when ‘attacking this tournament’ we tell our own story.
“You’re capturing that brilliantly. Keep doing it and I hope this World Cup brings you unforgettable person memories.
“Best wishes – Gareth.”
Southgate and his England side have won the hearts of a nation despite suffering World Cup heartbreak.
He consoled every one of his devastated players on the pitch in Moscow as travelling fans stayed in the stadium until 1am singing his name after the 2-1 defeat.
But England had chances to win it and Southgate was left to rue them at the final whistle.
“Knockout football is about fine margins, we had spells in the game against a side with real quality and you’ve got to make them count,” said Southgate on ITV after the game.
“We probably needed that second goal early in the game.
“We’ve come an incredibly long way in a short space of time and the experience of the matches with Colombia, Sweden and the whole thing is probably beyond where we thought we might be able to go.
Tonight, in the end we weren’t quite there. The team will be stronger for that.
“We’ve left everything out there and we’ll look at the goals and the chances, but for sure I don’t think for the six or seven weeks we’ve been together we could have given more.
“You see the supporters stay at the end and that tells you what the players have given, not just tonight but over the period and I can’t ask any more of what the players and staff have given.
“It’s very difficult because as we reflect over the next few days there will be a lot more positive but tonight it’s so difficult for everybody to take, we’re so close to what was almost unimaginable at the start.
“I go back to the players, you’ve got to look at the reaction of the supporters and see you don’t get that if you don’t give what they’ve given and played the way they have.”