Previous
Crystal Palace
Brighton & Hove Albion
11:45 AM UTC
Game Details
Next
KosovoKosovo
EnglandEngland
0
4
FT
Game Details

England boss Southgate: Maddison learned lesson after casino visit

England manager Gareth Southgate has said that James Maddison has learned a lesson after the Leicester City midfielder was photographed in a casino a day after withdrawing from the squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Bulgaria with a virus.

Maddison, 22, had been expected to make his senior international debut against the Czechs in Prague prior to his withdrawal on the day before the Group A clash, which England went on to lose 2-1.

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers defended Maddison last month following claims that Southgate was still to be convinced by the player's attitude, with the former Liverpool and Celtic manager saying that the midfielder "plays with a lovely arrogance but he's not like that off the field."

- Southgate says England 'not good enough' in loss
- Ogden: England midfield could limit Euro 2020 success

But speaking in Sofia ahead of Monday's encounter with Bulgaria, Southgate said that Maddison will have "learned" that representing England leads to a greater focus, on and off the field.

"Once a player has been released from a squad, it's up to them how they spend their individual time," Southgate told reporters in Sofia.

"So I guess what James has learned is that, if you are involved with England, there is an increased interest in you and an increased interest in your personal life and private life as well.

"It goes with the territory. It's a high-profile position."

Despite losing to the Czechs, England remain in control of Group A and a win in Bulgaria on Monday could secure qualification for Euro 2020 if Kosovo fail to defeat Montenegro in Pristina.

The game at Vasil Levski Stadium will go ahead with 5,000 seats closed off as punishment by UEFA for racist behaviour of home supporters during Euro 2020 qualifiers against Kosovo and the Czechs.

England's players have collectively discussed their response, should be there be a repeat of the racist behaviour by supporters on Monday, with Raheem Sterling saying on Friday that the team would put their faith in UEFA's three-step protocol, which leaves the situation in the hands of the match officials.

Southgate insisted, however, that his players remain focused on playing football and getting the victory which could seal a place at Euro 2020.

"I've always said we have as many issues to resolve as anyone else," Southgate said."So everyone wants us to be talking about football and it's the same for the players of both teams.

"But outside of that, we trust the authorities to make sure everything is in place and we are all -- everyone involved with the game -- focused on the football."

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.