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We are like family, says England coach

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England’s manager Gareth Southgate attends an England press conference at St George’s Park in Burton-on-Trent, central England on November 12, 2019, ahead of their Euro 2020 football qualification match against Montenegro. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

England manager Gareth Southgate has compared his squad to “a family” in the aftermath of Raheem Sterling’s confrontation with Joe Gomez, saying arguments are inevitable.

“I love all of my players. We are like a family. The important thing is for a family to communicate and work through problems,” said Southgate.

“I don’t expect as a manager to not have to deal with issues.”

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Sterling admitted “emotions got the better of me” during the incident.

“Me and Joe Gomez are good, we both understand it was a five to 10-second thing…it’s done, we move forward,” he added in a statement on social media earlier yesterday.

The Manchester City forward, who was involved in a previous altercation with Liverpool’s Gomez in his side’s 3-1 Premier League defeat on Sunday, has been dropped for England’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro tomorrow.

Pictures from England’s training ground yesterday appeared to show Gomez with a scratch running from his right eye down his cheek, although Southgate refused to say if it was related to the altercation with Sterling.

“Raheem in his [social media] post last night explained for a very brief moment his emotions ran over. It would be correct to say that’s not the same for Joe,” he added.

At a team meeting on Monday night, Southgate, Sterling, and Gomez all spoke as the manager decided on the appropriate action to take.

“In the end, I have to find the right solution for the group,” added Southgate.

“That’s a difficult line, you try to be fair when dealing with all players. I won’t always get that right but I am the manager.

“Raheem is very important for us but I felt it was the right thing.”

England is already assured of at least a play-off spot to make Euro 2020 after five wins from their opening six matches in their qualification campaign. They need just a point to qualify for the finals automatically.

“I love all of my players. We are like a family. The important thing is for a family to communicate and work through problems,” said Southgate.

“I don’t expect as a manager to not have to deal with issues.”

Sterling admitted “emotions got the better of me” during the incident.

“Me and Joe Gomez are good, we both understand it was a five to 10-second thing…it’s done, we move forward,” he added in a statement on social media earlier on Tuesday.

The Manchester City forward, who was involved in a previous altercation with Liverpool’s Gomez in his side’s 3-1 Premier League defeat on Sunday, has been dropped for England’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro tomorrow.

“Raheem in his [social media] post last night explained for a very brief moment his emotions ran over. It would be correct to say that’s not the same for Joe,” he added.

At a team meeting on Monday night, Southgate, Sterling, and Gomez all spoke as the manager decided on the appropriate action to take.

“In the end, I have to find the right solution for the group,” added Southgate.

“That’s a difficult line, you try to be fair when dealing with all players. I won’t always get that right but I am the manager.

“Raheem is very important for us but I felt it was the right thing.”

England is already assured of at least a play-off spot to make Euro 2020 after five wins from their opening six matches in their qualification campaign. They need just a point to qualify for the finals automatically.

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