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New England manager Gareth Southgate tells players too much partying will hold them back

Joe Hall
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Gareth Southgate England manager
Tipple tattle: Southgate will talk to his team about their responsibilities (Source: Getty)

New England manager Gareth Southgate warned his players that they will fail to beat the best in the world if their focus is swayed by too much partying.

Although the 46-year-old insisted Wayne Rooney would remain captain after the striker was pictured appearing to be drunk late at night while on international duty last month, he admitted his team they won't be able to reach their potential if such behaviour becomes a regular occurrence.

Read more: FA will back Gareth Southgate even if he flops at Russia 2018, says chief exec Martin Glenn

"There's now an opportunity to talk about environment and culture around the team and what's going to make us perform at our very best," said Southgate.

"Everything has to be geared towards being successful. If we think we're good enough to play the best teams in the world and give ourselves a slight handicap along the way well, good luck with that. We've got to make sure that every opportunity to recover, to perform at our very best is taken."

Southgate will remind his players of their responsibility while representing England, but he said he did not need to act as a disciplinarian over the issue.

"I don’t think laying down the law is necessary with this group of players," he said. "I like to treat players with respect, treat them as adults. There’s got to be trust between the coach and players, that’s really important.

"There’s also got to be clear guidelines but also important that players take some leadership in that."

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