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Sep, 13, 2012

Southgate endorses Ashworth for FA role

Gareth Southgate has endorsed Dan Ashworth as the ideal man to lead the Football Association's new vision at St George's Park.

• Evans: Dan's departure a blow

Southgate turned down the opportunity to become the FA's new technical director earlier this year, which opened up a path for the West Bromwich Albion sporting and technical director.

Ashworth's role at the FA is likely to be formally announced in the near future, although it is believed he will not be handed the same brief presented to Southgate in June.

He will instead be given a senior role in the new technical department at the national football centre and Southgate believes Ashworth is perfect for the post.

"I did my pro-licence the same year as Dan and I know him very well. He has done an exceptional job at West Brom," Southgate said. "I am sure he'll be a good addition to the FA if he takes the job. The structure at Albion is excellent. You can only succeed if the structure is right, but they have got it right and Dan has been a key part of that. This will be a different challenge if he takes it because the areas will be slightly different but he'll do a good job."

Ashworth has a 12-month notice period in his contract and Albion chairman Jeremy Peace wants him to stay at the Hawthorns until the end of the season to help find his replacement.

It will be the second major loss in the space of 12 months for Albion, who saw head coach Roy Hodgson leave to take the England manager's job in the summer.

But Southgate believes the previous working relationship between the pair will count for little at the FA.

"It's pretty irrelevant he knows Roy really," Southgate added. "You need to get on well with the senior manager but the roles do not really cross over. It's a lot different to club level where you're working closely all the time."

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