Gareth Southgate has vowed to ‘support’ Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood after privately reminding the young duo about the ‘expectations’ that come with being an England player.
Foden, 20, and Greenwood, 18, breached strict Covid-19 protocols to meet women at a hotel in Reykjavik after England beat Iceland at the weekend – and the pair have since been axed from Southgate’s squad.
This meant they played no part as the Three Lions were held to a goalless draw by Denmark on Tuesday night.
Both players have issued public apologies, with the FA having to launch a full investigation into their behaviour.
Speaking after England’s dreary Nations League encounter in Copenhagen, Southgate revealed that he had learned more shocking details about the incident involving Foden and Greenwood and lifted the lid on his conversations with the Manchester City and Manchester United youngsters.
‘Yeah, I’ve spoken to both of them,’ the England head coach confirmed after the goalless draw.
‘As I said yesterday, they know what’s happened is unacceptable and was unacceptable on a Covid basis but, as I’ve learned more detail, is unacceptable on any basis so either way they would have gone home.
‘Equally, they’re young men that need consequences being there, they need support because they’re everywhere in the press and everybody is wading in on them.
‘They need help to rebuild, they need to understand the expectations of being an England player and we’ve got to help them on that process.
‘That’s going to take time and we need to build some trust but you’ve got to help young people get back on their feet and that’s an important part of what we need to do as well.’
Southgate hinted Foden and Greenwood could return for England’s Nations League matches next month but admitted there had been a breakdown in trust as a result of their behaviour in Iceland.
Asked whether they could be in contention to face Wales on October 8, he replied: ‘I’ll make a decision on that.
‘There’s a lot of thinking and a lot of trust the needs to be built first but my mindset is not to hurt these boys anymore.
‘They’re going through that with their families, they’re going through that with their friends and I don’t need to add into that.’
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