Raheem Sterling admits ‘emotions got the better of me’ after being dropped over England bust-up with Joe Gomez

Sterling will play no part in Thursday’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro

Mark Critchley
Tuesday 12 November 2019 07:53
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Raheem Sterling praises Sancho's England display

Raheem Sterling has said he and Joe Gomez are “good” and have “moved on” despite their row at St George’s Park while on international duty for England.

Sterling has been dropped by manager Gareth Southgate for Thursday’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro following the incident.

The Football Association confirmed on Monday night that the Manchester City winger would play no part due to ”a disturbance in a private team area”.

Sterling and Gomez were on opposite sides of Sunday’s top-of-the-table Premier League clash between Liverpool and City at Anfield, which Sterling’s City lost 3-1.

The pair clashed briefly towards the end of the game and tensions had not eased on Monday when they reported for international duty.

Sterling is understood to have apologised to Gomez and released a statement in the early hours of Tuesday morning on social media insisting that both players had “moved forward”.

“First and foremost everyone knows what that game means to me,” said Sterling – who made an acrimonious move from Liverpool to City in 2015 – on Instagram.

Sterling has been dropped for the next England international

“Everyone knows that I am not that way inclined and more to the point, both Joe and I have had words and figured things out and moved on.

“We are in a sport where emotions run high and I am man enough to admit when emotions got the better of me. We move, this is why we play this sport because of our love for it.

“Me and Joe Gomez are good, we both understand it was a 5-10 second thing. It’s done, we move forward and not make this bigger than it is. Let’s get focus on our game on Thursday.”

Gomez is yet to make any statement on the incident. Sterling will remain with the squad and could play in England’s final qualifier against Kosovo on Sunday but will not be involved against Montenegro.

Southgate said emotions were still “raw” following Sunday’s game at Anfield and that the decision to drop Sterling for Thursday had been agreed by “the entire squad”.

“One of the great challenges and strengths for us is that we’ve been able to separate club rivalries from the national team,” he said. “Unfortunately the emotions of yesterday’s game were still raw.

Sterling and Gomez confront each other at Anfield

“My feeling is that the right thing for the team is the action we have taken. Now that the decision has been made with the agreement of the entire squad, it’s important that we support the players and focus on Thursday night.”

Sterling has been in fine form for the Three Lions recently, scoring eight goals and providing five assists as England marched towards Euro 2020 qualification.

Gomez was introduced as an 87th-minute substitute on Sunday against Man City and last featured for his country in the Nations League third-place play-off against Switzerland in June, winning his seventh cap.

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