CONOR Coady has given a revealing insight into the leadership qualities of England manager Gareth Southgate ahead of the Euro 2020 final against Italy.

Coady, the former Rainford Rangers junior, is part of the 26-man England squad and though he is yet to make an appearance in the tournament he has been hailed for his presence within the national team’s set-up.

Assistant manager Steve Holland even went as far as saying Coady, 28, has been his “player of the tournament”, such has been his influence in the dressing room and the training pitch.

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Gareth Southgate and his assistant Steve Holland ae huge admirers of Conor Coady's leadership qualities (Pic: Press Assocation)

The Wolves captain - a vocal figure on the pitch and in dressing rooms throughout his career - opened up about life in the England camp in a BBC 5 Live Sport Euro 2020 special All About Southgate. He spoke about the focus and harmony in the squad which has led to the national side reaching their first major tournament final since 1966.

But he also described Southgate’s qualities as a motivator and communicator that underpin his managerial style.

Speaking to the BBC’s Steve Crossman about the tournament so far, Coady, a former Bleak Hill Primary and Rainford High pupil, said: “It’s incredible. We’ve spoken about 55 years and all that, but we’ve focused on ourselves.

“We’ve always had a goal in our minds of where we wanted to get to – it was easier said than done at the start but now that we are here it is a proud moment for everyone.

“A real proud moment for families, for supporters and for players.”

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Coady putting in the hard yards in training (Pic: Press Assocation)

Asked about a moment that stands out about Southgate’s management, Coady said: “When I first got picked, the way he explained it to me and spoke to me – how much of a fantastic person he is first and foremost, and how much of a top manager he is.

“But the first thing that pops into my head is the conversation when I got called up the first time – and the phone call and honestly I will remember it for the rest of my life.

“The way he spoke is incredible and the way he manages the lads is incredible.

“He makes you feel comfortable. When you get a phone call from the England manager, you think ‘am I getting a call up’. So you’re nervous, your heart is racing and it’s like what are you going to say.

“But he just makes you feel relaxed. Even around camps you have in the season he makes you feel like the most relaxed person in the world.

“He’s a fantastic person, who when he speaks makes you feel so comfortable that you can talk about anything and that was the same in that first phone call.”

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Coady wore the captain's armband in a friendly against Austria earlier this year (Pic: Press Assocation)

Describing the manager’s ability to inspire with words, Coady, who has won five caps, added: “The first conversation when we came to St George’s Park, was when we spoke about the legacy caps [the cap and unique number given to players in chronological order of players who made their debut for their country – Coady is 1249] that was something that gave you goosebumps and made you feel like this is serious business and proud business we are coming into – representing your country, representing Queen of country.

“It was an incredible speech, talk and video.

“It’s the way he speaks and puts across his words, that makes you really listen and he is one of those managers you listen and you look at and you see what he is really saying to you.”

Southgate is a manager, he says, who as players “you hang off his every word”.

He retains a calmness and clarity at key moments, such as the extra-time period against Denmark, speaking to players “like men” and explaining how to win the game.

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Southgate delivering a team talk in the huddle against Denmark (Pic: Press Assocation)

This approach, says Coady, means players have a full trust in how he wants them to set up as a team.

Coady, who is from Haydock and was on Liverpool’s books as a youngster before dropping down the divisions to gain experience and make a breakthrough at senior level, stressed the club-team like atmosphere of the England class of 2021.

He added: “I’m proud of the last six weeks, how everybody has come together and the spirit and bond that has been formed among players who play against each other in the Premier League.

“That’s the biggest thing we are taking forward – the bonds that we are making – it’s helped us massively going on to the pitch.”

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The squad has a special bond, says Coady (Pic: Press Assocation)

He added: “The focus everybody has got here is incredible.

“A lot of people were probably thinking after the Germany and Ukraine games we’d be in the changing room and people would be dancing on their heads.

“The manager speaks, tells us we’ve done fantastically well and then it’s on to the next game – after Germany, it was Ukraine after Ukraine it was Denmark and then it was Italy.

“Music goes on, lads have a sit on their phone, we get a shower, get an ice bath, recover and the boys are ready to go again and that’s the biggest thing I can say, as the focus and the will to win from everyone has been incredible over the last six weeks.”

Coady was asked about how difficult the conversations are with management when players are not selected, but he went into the tournament with realistic expectations and knows he has a role to play: “A lot of people have asked me this because I’ve not played.

“But when you come to England, you are all in it for the same goal and I knew coming to this competition we have some world class centre halves and no matter what I’m here to help – whether I’m in or out of the squad – whether I’m starting [or not]– we’re all here to represent our great country.

“We are here to represent our country to the best of our ability and that is the biggest thing we can do.

“We’re not here to forge grudges and fight with different people for different areas of the pitch.

“You all want to play – that’s a given; we are footballers it’s what we all want to do. But if we don’t what are we going to do? Are we going to sit here and sulk or try to get the best out of each other [and] push each other to the hilt?

“The thing I can say about everybody in this squad is we’ve pushed each other every day and the intensity of training is on another level.”

He adds that the intensity of the players who haven’t played in matches show the the next day in training is something “I’ve never seen anything like it”.

Coady added: “The bonds, we’ve created as team-mates and friends that’s what people don’t see.”

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Southgate's words have beenm inspirational but he also has a sharp sense of humour (Pic: Press Assocation)

Coady also praised the environment created at St George’s Park – England’s training headquarters – as exemplary. Pictures of players families have been placed in their rooms to help create a sense of home, which is just one example of the attention to detail.

He added: “It’s tough without family. I’ve not seen my boys, my wife – it’s been tough but the environment they’ve made, they deserve full credit for that.”

The BBC show also asked Coady to pick out something people might not know about Southgate, to which, he responded: “He’s really funny. I might sound a bit daft, [but] he’s quite quick with different things, you can be sat there having a coffee and he might come over and drop a little bit of a bomb in there and have a laugh about it.

“He’s quite quick-witted in terms of things that happen, but that shows you the type of person and manager he is that he can make you feel quite relaxed but then it’s work time and you know when that time comes.”