Gareth Southgate insists he isn’t contemplating Sunday night being his final game as England manager and called on supporters to ensure his players feel the love in their crunch clash versus Slovakia.

Captain Harry Kane – who has urged the team’s misfiring attackers to be ‘ruthless’ – will lead England into battle as they look to book a place in the Euro 2024 quarter-finals.

But the encounter will be played under the backdrop of major uncertainty over Southgate’s future amid supporter discontent against the 53-year-old, who’s been at the helm for eight years.

Southgate was pelted with plastic beer cups following Tuesday’s 0-0 draw against Slovenia as a section of irate fans made their feelings towards the England head coach abundantly clear.

But Southgate has urged fans to back England ahead of Sunday’s last-16 tie, saying: ‘It’s a young team. It’s a team that can be influenced by the fans in a really positive way so they need that love, they need that support, they need that vocal support they had the other night — particularly in the second half.

Gareth Southgate has urged supporters to show their love to England’s players on Sunday

There is uncertainty over Southgate's future amid fan discontent and some England fans showed their frustration by throwing plastic beer cups at him after the draw with Slovenia

There is uncertainty over Southgate’s future amid fan discontent and some England fans showed their frustration by throwing plastic beer cups at him after the draw with Slovenia

Southgate says his team can be 'influenced by the fans in a really positive way'

Southgate says his team can be ‘influenced by the fans in a really positive way’ 

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‘And it can only help them give more and more so that’s my reason for being here to lead the team and try to give my country the best chance of winning.’

Asked if he has thought about Sunday’s clash potentially being his last as England head coach, he added: ‘No. I’m enjoying being here.

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‘I want to be here for another fortnight. I’ve got nothing to rush back for. I’m looking forward to a few more days here.’

Southgate is set to select Kieran Trippier at left-back after the Newcastle defender trained at their Weimar base on Saturday afternoon for the first time in two days.

The England boss is expected to make one change from the team that drew with Slovenia – Kobbie Mainoo replacing Conor Gallagher in midfield.

There is hope, depending on how the game develops, that Luke Shaw can come on for Trippier late in the game. Shaw hasn’t played for five months due to a hamstring injury but has trained fully this week.

There has been calls for Southgate to tear up his forward line-up of Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden and Kane following three disappointing attacking displays in the group stages, which has heralded just two goals.

But Southgate is set to keep faith with the quartet, although Kane has urged his attacking colleagues to be more cut-throat against the Slovakians: ‘It is about just having that discipline in your positions, being in the areas where we are patient enough and can hurt them, and then really about being ruthless.

Kieran Trippier is set to again start at left-back after training on Saturday afternoon

Kieran Trippier is set to again start at left-back after training on Saturday afternoon

There have been calls for Southgate to tear up his forward line of Jude Bellingham (left), Phil Foden (right), Bukayo Saka and Harry Kane

There have been calls for Southgate to tear up his forward line of Jude Bellingham (left), Phil Foden (right), Bukayo Saka and Harry Kane

‘I feel we’ve been ruthless on the defensive side, in terms of blocks and blocking crosses and winning balls and now it’s down to me, the attacking players and maybe the midfielders to maybe be a bit more ruthless in the final third of the pitch.’

Kane, who has scored once so far, has warned Slovakia that he is ready to hit top gear here in Germany.

The Bayern Munich striker has scored six goals in his previous six matches knockout matches for England and he added: ‘It’s the process of the tournament, naturally you get physically stronger, naturally you get sharper. We’ve had three games in a short space of time.

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Harry Kane has warned Slovakia that he is ready to hit top gear during the knockout stage

Harry Kane has warned Slovakia that he is ready to hit top gear during the knockout stage 

‘I feel players get into their peak sharpness for knockout games and that’s what I have found in recent tournaments.

‘Being the striker of the team, I want to score goals and help the team get through to the next round. Knockout football is a different prospect to the group stage, we have handled that well in the past and it’s time to do that again.’

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