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David Seaman concedes he never had Gareth Southgate down as a future manager during their playing days at England.
The duo were involved in Three Lions squads together during the 1990s and early 2000s.
Southgate spent his playing career at Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough but worked under the likes of Terry Venables and Kevin Keegan at international level.
Having initially taken charge of the Three Lions on an interim basis the 50-year-old has flourished in the role.
Southgate has come through the FA system and is now leading a young, exciting England team.
Seaman never saw him as one likely to occupy the dugout but admits the timing of his England opportunity has worked perfectly.
Gareth Southgate has performed impressively as England boss
"No, I never saw it when I was playing with him," conceded the former England goalkeeper.
"He's not a shouter, he was always very intelligent and articulate and tactical aware.
"But I never had him down as a manager. When he went to Middlesbrough he struggled there, but then he got his break with the U21s and I thought that's perfect for him.
"When Allardyce got sacked and I looked around I thought he was the perfect guy. He already had the respect of the players because he'd worked with them at U21 level.
"For him to step in I thought the timing was just right and he's taken to it perfectly."
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Southgate has won 37 of his 58 games in charge of England.
During that time he has taken the Three Lions to a World Cup semi-final and looks well placed to at least match that achievement at the Euros.
The former player turned manager has stuck to a clear blueprint which has placed an emphasis on youth.
His stock continues to rise and FA chief Mark Bullingham has already spoken of his desire to tie Southgate down to a new deal.
He said: "Gareth knows exactly how we feel about him. He knows we think he's doing a great job and we'd like him to carry on.
"We'll get into that formal conversation after this tournament. But if you ask me now, I'd say yes, we'd like him to carry on.
"Has he indicated he'd like to do that? We haven't got into that level of conversation yet. He's got our unwavering support because we think he's doing a brilliant job on and off the pitch."
"Every game we go into we want to win and we think he gives us the best chance of doing that. It's easy to say that off the pitch he's been brilliant, but on the pitch he's been brilliant as well.
"Semi-final in the World Cup, fantastic performance in the Nations League, some absolutely brilliant games.
"And even in the games where we haven't quite got what we wanted, there have been extenuating circumstances."
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David Seaman was speaking to the Mirror in conjunction with William Hill