Gareth Southgate slams ‘unacceptable’ Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood behaviour

Gareth Southgate last night insisted England bad boys Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood need to repair his trust in them.

Foden and Greenwood were sent home after breaking strict coronavirus rules before England’s bore draw with Denmark.

And Southgate claimed the Manchester City and Manchester United stars will need help rebuilding their shattered reputations before they can earn a recall.

The England boss said: “I’ll make a decision on that. There’s a lot of trust to be built. My mindset is not to hurt these boys any more.

“They are going through that with their family and friends. I don’t need to add to that. I’ve spoken to both of them. They know what’s happened is unacceptable.

“It was unacceptable on a Covid basis, but as I’ve learned more details, it was unacceptable on any basis, so either way they would have gone home.

“Equally, they are young men. The consequence has been there. And they need support because everyone is wading in on them. They need help to rebuild.

“They need to understand the expectations of being an England player. We’ve got to help them on that process. That’s going to take time.

“We need to build some trust. But you’ve got to help young people to get back on their feet. That’s an important part of what we need to do.”

Harry Kane had a late shot cleared off the line as England drew a blank in Denmark to leave them second in Nations League Group 2 behind Belgium.

Southgate, who switched to a three at the back, became the first England manager since 1962 to name four debutants in a non-friendly match.

But despite it being a big night for Conor Coady, Kalvin Phillips, Jack Grealish and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, his side struggled.

Southgate said: “I’m very pleased for the lads who made their debut. Conor Coady was excellent. The back three were very solid.

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“We’ve learned a lot. We’ve tried a new system which we will get better at.

“Given everything we’ve had to deal with, including ten pull-outs for various reasons, we felt we wanted to start with stability.

“I think they’ve lost one in 25 games. We could have been higher with our attacking threat but we were in control and given the stage of the season that was really important.

“We weren’t going to be able to press for 90 minutes. That had a bearing on the formation.”

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