Leaving the England camp will allow Joe Gomez to "clear his head" following a challenging few days, Gareth Southgate said.

Southgate: Sterling tweet brought closure to Gomez incident


England manager Gareth Southgate believes Raheem Sterling's public message of support for Joe Gomez has drawn a line under a tumultuous week.

Sterling and Gomez became embroiled in a media storm following a bust-up at the beginning of the international break.

Southgate dropped Manchester City star Sterling for Friday's Euro 2020 qualifying victory over Montenegro, a match partially overshadowed by the boos that greeted Liverpool defender Gomez upon his second-half introduction at Wembley.

The "upsetting experience" for Gomez, as Southgate termed it, prompted Sterling to issue a social media statement accepting "full responsibility" for the spat and defending his team-mate.

An eventful few days took another unexpected turn on Saturday when Gomez pulled out of the squad due to a minor knee problem, but the Three Lions boss now hopes to move forward without further scrutiny of squad harmony. 

"You couldn't make it up, really, if you tried," Southgate said of Gomez's injury, which rules him out of Sunday's game against Kosovo.

"He's absolutely fine. He took a clash of knees [on Friday]. We scanned it just to be certain and I think he'll be fine in a couple of days, but he wasn't able to train."

Southgate continued: "We actually ended up having a chuckle this morning at the ridiculousness of him having to go home in the way he did.

"It's been a difficult week for him but one that will make him stronger and one that he's dealt with really well.

"I think now is a good moment for him just to go home for a couple of days, clear his head. The pleasing thing for me is that we've got him back on the pitch.

"I think the fact that Raheem put out the tweet that he did the other night was real closure on that whole incident.

"We get Raheem back on the pitch [against Kosovo]. We won the match on Thursday and we can now just look forward."

England have already sealed Euro 2020 qualification leading into Sunday's final Group A fixture in Pristina.

Southgate will reportedly hand goalkeeper Nick Pope his first international start, while Callum Hudson-Odoi could replace Jadon Sancho in attack.



Hughes slams woeful Saints

Hughes slams woeful Southampton after West Ham defeat

Southampton's capitulation at the hands of West Ham on Saturday left Mark Hughes frustrated and hunting for a way to solve their problems.


Klopp: Liverpool are on fire

Liverpool 'are on fire' ahead of City clash, says Klopp

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool had to dig deep to beat Crystal Palace, but it leaves them in a buoyant mood before facing Manchester City.


Pardew questions meek West Brom

Pardew questions West Brom's meek mentality

West Brom's "tentative" start to their Premier League defeat to Burnley left Alan Pardew unimpressed.


Birmingham move out of drop zone

Championship Review: Birmingham move out of the drop zone

There were contrasting emotions for rivals Birmingham City and Aston Villa in the Championship on Saturday.


Puel rues 'harsh' Ndidi red card

Puel rues 'harsh' Ndidi red card in Leicester's win at Brighton

Claude Puel felt Wilfred Ndidi's sending off at the Amex Stadium was the result of an imbalance in the referee's decision-making.