Gareth Southgate insists dropping Raheem Sterling was ‘right for the country’ after watching his England side qualify for the Euro 2020 finals.
The Manchester City forward watched on from the Wembley stands with a glum look on his face as the Three Lions smashed Montenegro 7-0 to secure qualification.
Sterling would have surely started on what was England’s 1000th international fixture, but was left out completely after an altercation with Joe Gomez.
Gomez, who was booed by some fans when he came on as a substitute, insisted the matter was resolved after accepting Sterling’s apology.
But Southgate told reporters after the game he was ‘comfortable’ with his choice.
“I think I have to always look at what is the right thing for the team to perform now and in the future,” Southgate said. “Ultimately that will be what is right for the country.
“Of course, my decisions are the only ones that get tested by the games and the outcomes of the games and what happens over the next months and years.
“So that’s the cross you have to bear as the manager, if you like. But I don’t take enjoyment out of any of those sorts of things.
“But you have to make decisions when you are in charge of anything. You have to make decisions and your decisions have consequences.
“Whereas everybody else’s opinions, their team never plays, their teams are never tested on the field and of course they don’t always have all of the facts because that’s not possible.
“So I understand that landscape and I’m comfortable with it.”