Gareth Southgate is unsure if he wants the England manager’s job on a permanent basis, should the FA make him an offer after the forthcoming games with Scotland and Spain.

The England under-21 manager was appointed interim manager of the full team following Sam Allardyce’s sudden departure in September, but he says he would want to know the length of contract, among other things, before committing himself.

Over the course of two matches – a 2-0 victory over Malta at Wembley, and a goalless draw in Slovenia – Southgate has yet to make a persuasive case for him being appointed England manager, but in the absence of any any credible alternatives, he remains the frontrunner for the job. Last month, Arsenal manager said Southgate was the perfect candidate for the position.

“The agreement was to take these four games, to keep some continuity, and then everybody has a chance to reflect and review how’s it gone,” Southgate said, speaking with the Football Journalism degree class at the University of Derby.

“The FA [then] have a decision to make as to what they want to do. I think it’s a decision that needs a lot of thought, and also I think when you’re in the position I am in, you need to be clear of what is being asked.

“There is a big difference, for example, between being asked to take the team over the summer or to take the team for three years or take the team for a year and a half. I don’t think it is as easy as saying: ‘Yes I would like the job,’ and I would also like to see how it is affecting my family – and my health probably!”

Martin Glenn, the FA chief executive, confirmed that Southgate is “a credible candidate” irrespective of the outcome of the World Cup qualifier next Friday and the friendly with Spain four nights later.

“Whatever happens after that I will have had an incredible life experience which will have made me a better manager, no question, and everybody will know more about [my] suitability for that role,” Southgate said. “So I think our guys are then going to want to interview people to see who the best candidates are and go through a process, I’m sure.”

“Really then I will have an idea of what I am able to do, what I’m able to affect, how that has been with the players, how that has been with the staff and how I feel myself really. All I can say is I have enjoyed the period up to now.”

Gareth Southgate was speaking to students on the UK’s only Football Journalism degree course, at the University of Derby,