Hoddle lays down the law to his players

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The Independent Online
The England coach, Glenn Hoddle, yesterday restated his faith in midfielder Paul Gascoigne but warned all his players there would be consequences if they overstep the mark.

Hoddle was criticised for playing the Rangers midfielder, who had been widely condemned for allegedly beating his wife Sheryl, in the World Cup qualifier against Georgia in November.

The coach is in regular contact with Gascoigne, but made it clear that his backing will not always be there if the player does not continue to make progress.

"Paul's situation was a difficult one and my decision wasn't an easy one to make," Hoddle said on BBC 1's Breakfast with Frost. "The only solution was to try to change him, but not while he was in Georgia, only over the course of time. If Paul doesn't change, if he doesn't see his mistakes, there might be another decision down the line. But I felt at the time it was right to give him that opportunity.

"He is keeping up with his counselling and the sessions will continue, with his family and as an individual. They will go on for some time."

Hoddle will not tolerate off-field behaviour of the kind which marred England's recent Far East tour. "Nowadays you can't afford to do that," he said. "Sure, it's all right to have a drink at the right time. But if they go over the line, the players have got to know there will be consequences."

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