England focus not affected by Sterling-Gomez fall-out

England manager Gareth Southgate insists his side have not struggled to focus on their match against Montenegro amid the fall-out from the clash between Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez.

The Manchester City forward has been sidelined from Thursday night’s match at Wembley, England’s 1,000th fixture, as a disciplinary measure following an altercation with Gomez.

“I think that we have dealt with everything. The reason we have tried to do that as quickly as possible is so we can focus fully on the match,” said Southgate ahead of the Euro 2020 qualifier.

“Everybody has trained really well. The whole group are together now. We are looking forward to getting on with it.”

England Training Session and Press Conference
Joe Gomez (left) and Raheem Sterling trained along with their England team-mates at St George’s Park earlier on Wednesday (Mike Egerton/PA).

Southgate also responded to criticism that he has overreacted by dropping Sterling.

He added: “Everybody, when you are a leader or manager, will have an opinion on the decisions that you take. Only those who have been in this position really know all the details involved.

“Everybody will view it differently. You have to do what you believe to be the right thing. If you only try to take decisions that you think will keep people happy, that’s not a route to take either.

“I have to do first and foremost what is right for the country, what’s right for the team, all the while trying to look after the players.”

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