Gareth Southgate says winning is not the sole priority in his role as England Under-21 manager.

His young side were knocked out of the European Championships in the Czech Republic at the group stage in June.

Southgate said: “Part of the job is to attempt to win tournaments. But it is not the only part.”

Southgate also said it was “unlikely” full internationals Raheem Sterling, Luke Shaw and John Stones would play for the under-21s again.

Ex-Middlesbrough boss Southgate said bringing players through the under-21 system and ready to play for Roy Hodgson’s full England side was key: “If we have got boys who can force their way into Roy’s thinking, well that is the priority. The seniors is always the priority.

“At the end, you will be judged on results but the programme is about so much more than that,” he added.

The former England defender was speaking ahead of his side’s friendly against USA’s Under-23s at Preston’s Deepdale on 3 September.

Liverpool pair Jordon Ibe and Joe Gomez, Manchester United’s James Wilson and Tottenham’s Dele Alli are among the 14 uncapped players called-up to the squad by Southgate.

‘Expectations too high’

England were unbeaten in qualifying for the European Championships and had a squad that boasted Tottenham striker Harry Kane and Liverpool’s Danny Ings.

But Stones and West Brom forward Saido Berahino were injured on the eve of the tournament and Shaw was not selected after Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal requested the defender be rested.

England lost their opening match to Portugal before beating eventual champions Sweden, but lost 3-1 to Italy in the final group game,

“Perhaps expectations were too high because we qualified in such impressive form,” said Southgate.

“People look at the opposition team not knowing the players or level and only look at names on our team sheet and think we should be beating them. We beat Sweden 1-0, everyone hammered the performance, yet they won the thing.

“We lost three £30m-rated players on current market value in Shaw, Stones and Berahino. You can’t dismiss that.

“The ones we did select did not get there in one piece which is a bigger blow than any selection issues.

“Do I get too down when 10 minutes don’t go for us against Italy and we are knocked out of the tournament? That is football management.”

Joe Gomez

Defender Joe Gomez has started every game for Liverpool this season

£106m worth of talent to miss out

It is not expected that Manchester City’s new £49m forward Sterling, £27m Manchester United defender Shaw and £30m-rated Everton centre-half Stones will play any part in qualification for the 2017 European Under-21 Championships.

Southgate added: “I think it is unlikely (they will play), it is Roy Hodgson’s decision. He wants them in the first-team squad and sees them as first-team squad players and Raheem has started for the last two years.

“The other two are more than capable of starting in the senior team. That will give Roy great competition for places in those areas of the field.”

‘Gomez can cope’

Liverpool defender Joe Gomez is among the uncapped players to be called into the side.

The 18-year-old was signed from Charlton in June and made his debut in the 1-0 win at Stoke.

Gomez, who won the European Championships with the under-17s, is still young enough to play for the under-19s.

Southgate said: “It was a big decision to move him out of his own age group, it is not something we like to do too soon but he is in on merit. he is a good defender.

“He won the Euros two years ago with the under-17s and was moved out of his age group to the under-19s and was the best defender at that level. We have seen him closely through the age groups and have no hesitations that he has the temperament to deal with this.”