Southgate, the FA's head of elite development, has admitted that he would understand if top coaches were unhappy at Manchester United legend Neville being fast-tracked onto new England manager Roy Hodgson's back-room team.
He told the Daily Mail: "I could totally understand the coaching fraternity saying he's not worked at a club, and how does that work?
"It was a bit like when I got the job at Middlesbrough before I had the Pro Licence. A lot of Pro Licence coaches quite rightly would have been saying that can't be right.
"But in fairness to Gary, he's got his A licence so it's not as if he's dedicated no time to coaching.
"You could argue there are some coaches with international experience but then that's very much down to the type of personality Roy wanted. I think he has a slightly different role in mind - more Gary's experience of a tournament as a player, and that link with the manager. A coach without that international experience might not have been able to provide that."