Gareth Southgate explains why Raheem Sterling was suddenly dropped from England squad

Gareth Southgate explains why Raheem Sterling was suddenly dropped from England squad

Sterling and Liverpool defender Gomez clashed in the second half of City's 3-1 defeat at Anfield on Sunday.

Gareth Southgate is concerned by the information being leaked to the media from the England camp in the wake of the incident involving Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez.

Ex-England worldwide Gary Neville backed Southgate's decision, but his former team-mate Ferdinand - who has spoken previously of how club rivalries damaged morale in the national squad - thinks the affair should have been handled differently.

"As emotions calmed yesterday, I am very impressed the players worked through collectively. Raheem is very important for us but I felt it was the right thing".

According to multiple reports, on Monday the Man City winger was sat in the players' canteen at England's training base when Gomez, the first of several Liverpool players to arrive, walked in and was laughing. "It's done we move forward and not make this bigger than it is".

Some former players have suggested Southgate had been too heavy-handed in his approach and the manager accepts Sterling may not be keen on him for the time being.

"Now that the decision was made with the agreement of the entire team, it is important that we support the players and focus on Thursday night".

"It shouldn't happen but things do every single day in training - I fell out with lots of managers and coaches as a player", Robbie Fowler told Sky Sports News.

Sterling has scored eight of his side's 26 goals in six games as he has blossomed into one of the world's best players for club and country since failing to find his best form at the World Cup 18 months ago.

"If this was a awful incident then I would be all for public shaming and discipline".

England are on the verge of qualifying for next year's tournament and face Kosovo in Pristina on Sunday after their clash with Montenegro.

Asked whether Sterling "had the hump" with him, Southgate responded: 'I wouldn't imagine that he is hugely enthusiastic and I can understand that.

No particulars of the incident have been disclosed, although the FA verified Sterling stays with the squad subsequent the "disturbance in a non-public team area".

Sterling, who joined Manchester City from Liverpool in 2015, has made 55 appearances for England, scoring 12 times.

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