Raheem Sterling will not play for England against Montenegro after a clash with team-mate Joe Gomez, and Gareth Southgate wants to move on.
Gareth Southgate presented a united front within his England camp – declaring "I love all of my players" – after his dramatic decision to drop Raheem Sterling over a bust-up with Joe Gomez.
Late on Monday, Southgate confirmed the decision to omit Manchester City forward Sterling from this week's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro after the altercation at England's St George's Park training base.
Sterling and Liverpool centre-back Gomez clashed on the field during City's 3-1 defeat at Anfield in a highly charged Premier League encounter on Sunday, and the 24-year-old conceded "emotions got the better of me" in a social media post regarding the confrontation the following day.
Southgate credited his senior players for their influence in a resolution that saw Sterling remain with the England squad for training on Tuesday, and he was keen to defuse the situation when he faced a media conference afterwards.
"I think I'm dealing with a very young squad and we're in a sport where emotions often run high," Southgate said.
"I think Raheem in his post last night explained that, for a very brief moment, his emotions ran over.
"It would be correct to say that's not the same for Joe. These things happen in football. Then you have to find a way for the group to move forward.
"That needed some time, it needed time for emotions to calm down across the board. We have some excellent senior players who played a part in bringing everyone together. You need, as a manager, to see that everyone is ready to work together moving forward.
"My priority is always the care and wellbeing of all of my players – all of my players."
When asked whether he was disappointed by Sterling's actions, Southgate added: "I love all of my players. We're like a family and all families have disagreements.
"The most important thing for any family is that you communicate through those disagreements and you work through them."