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 By PA Sport

Gareth Southgate: England have to become smarter and climb rankings

England manager Gareth Southgate has told his players they must improve on their current world ranking of 13th.

Southgate, speaking to the Daily Telegraph, said England's standing in world football was "not good enough" and he would not be satisfied until the Three Lions were at the top.

"We have players of great potential but at the moment we are 13th in the world," he said.

"We've got to be better -- everything we do has got to be better. Even being second in the world is not good enough. We have to be the best we can be, and that is the best."

England have won two and drawn two of their four games since Southgate took over following the one-match reign of Sam Allardyce.

And he said he was determined to improve that record, starting with the friendly against Germany on March 22.

"Hard work is not the phrase," he added. "Everyone can work hard.

Gareth Southgate says England must 'work smartly to bridge the gap.'

"We have to work smartly on how we can bridge that gap, as it's a significant one. But there are players not just in this current squad but coming through our age groups who can achieve that."

Southgate knows how fine the margins can be at the top level of world football, having been part of the England team that reached the semifinals of Euro 96.

The former defender, who missed a penalty as England were beaten by Germany in a dramatic shootout, said: "Every time you play for England you've got the chance to make history.

"Do they want to be remembered? I know in my generation we got close. This is the current crop's chance."

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