Jose Mourinho says Gareth Southgate should name club bosses who pressured England stars not to face Iceland

Dan Kilpatrick
·3-min read
 (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)
(Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)

Jose Mourinho has renewed his sparring with Gareth Southgate by calling for the England manager to explain which club bosses pressured their players ahead of the international against Iceland and why Manchester City's Raheem Sterling pulled out of the squad.

Southgate claimed some managers had put their stars under "huge pressure" not to feature in the Nations League dead-rubber on Wednesday.

Sterling was not involved after pulling out of a second consecutive England camp through injury, but Mourinho predicted the City forward would be fit to face his side on Saturday.

City boss Pep Guardiola subsequently confirmed in his own pre-match press conference that Sterling had indeed rejoined training on Friday.

Mourinho, who in October clashed with Southgate over Harry Kane's game-time, suggested the England setup was guilty of double standards after Kane and Eric Dier started against Iceland and called for an explanation.

"Gareth Southgate, I read, I don’t think I’m wrong in what I read, he supposedly told that some football club managers, they put pressure not to play for the national team and because of that he feels sometimes the need to call club managers to try to cool down the emotions and try to control the difficult situation for him," said Mourinho, who is celebrating his one-year anniversary as Spurs manager.

"I would like him to say who. I would like him to say which are the coaches who put pressure on the players not to go? And I would like him to say which are the coaches that he calls and speaks on the phone with them.

"Apart from that, he has the right, he has the power to call the players he wants. He wants to win matches, especially after a defeat, the next match even being a dead-rubber is an important match. I sympathise with that.

<p>Tottenham’s Jose Mourinho is seeking answers from England counterpart Gareth Southgate</p>Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Tottenham’s Jose Mourinho is seeking answers from England counterpart Gareth Southgate

Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

"And of course we all know Sterling will play tomorrow. When Eric Dier left the national team injured in the previous month, he didn’t play two matches for Tottenham. He didn’t play a Premier League match and a Europa League match. He needed a couple of weeks to recover and Raheem is going to play tomorrow.

"These are the little details I think Gareth should explain to us all. Apart from that, I totally support him in the fact that in the national team, in a country like England, the Three Lions on the shirt is always to be respected and he plays with the players he wants to play."

Mourinho added that he was "OK" with England captain Kane playing 75 minutes in the 4-0 win against Iceland, but said: "The only problem for me is it should be the same for everybody, not just for some."

<p>Southgate complained of club managers putting pressure on players not to play against Iceland at Wembley</p>AP

Southgate complained of club managers putting pressure on players not to play against Iceland at Wembley

AP

Mourinho also revealed that Harry Winks, who was a second-half substitute against Iceland, had returned from international duty with a "little problem", leaving him a doubt to face Pep Guardiola's side.

Heung-min Son is available after returning two negative tests following an outbreak of coronavirus in the South Korea camp last week.

Erik Lamela remains sidelined with an Achilles problem and Mourinho said he was yet to see Davinson Sanchez and Gedson Fernandes since their return from international duty.

"I am waiting for a couple of [pieces of] news, a couple of decisions, a couple of players I didn’t even see them yet coming back from their national teams," he said.

<p>Mourinho is in no doubt that Raheem Sterling will play for Manchester City against Tottenham this weekend</p>Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Mourinho is in no doubt that Raheem Sterling will play for Manchester City against Tottenham this weekend

Liverpool FC via Getty Images

"Winks arrived with a little problem that today I don’t know. Davinson Sanchez, I didn’t see him. Gedson, I didn’t see him. Lamela is still in the last period of his recovery. Apart from that, no problems.

"[Son] came back, he tested twice negative. Isolating, follow the protocols and he is fine to play."

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