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England U21 boss Southgate: Middlesbrough sacking improved my coaching

England U21 coach Gareth Southgate says being sacked by Middlesbrough improved him as a manager.

It's five years since his dismissal by Boro.

"Look, no question: losing your job is something that will affect anyone's confidence," said Southgate. "Anyone who has been through that - no matter what you earn or what you have achieved in your life - it is a blow to the ego.

"But in hindsight, it gave me the chance to learn and strengthen myself in areas of coaching where I needed more knowledge: management, leadership. It is different from leadership on the field as you are leading an organisation when you manage a club. You are hardened by the experience.

"I think I am a coach who has empathy with his players but I'm less worried whether they are upset and disappointed, as I've seen the impact of relegation on a club - having to make staff redundant and make decisions that affected the livelihood of good friends. That toughens you up quite a bit."

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