South­gate stand­ing by Ster­ling ax­ing

Mercury (Hobart) - - SOCCER -

ENG­LAND man­ager Gareth South­gate said he took ul­ti­mate re­spon­si­bil­ity for the de­ci­sion to axe Ra­heem Ster­ling from the team for Thurs­day’s Euro 2020 qual­i­fier, but ex­pressed con­cern about leaks from in­side his camp.

Ster­ling was dropped from the squad to face Mon­tene­gro at Wem­b­ley af­ter a clash with Joe Gomez at the team’s train­ing ground. The pair had squared off at An­field on Sun­day where Ster­ling’s Manch­ester City was beaten 3-1 by Liver­pool, with Gomez com­ing on as a late sub­sti­tute. South­gate had said his de­ci­sion had been backed by the “agree­ment of the en­tire squad”.

But the Eng­land man­ager made clear the de­ci­sion was one he took re­spon­si­bil­ity for.

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