Jose Mourinho has called on Gareth Southgate to name the managers that are pressuring players not to represent England.
Earlier this week, Southgate suggested that his squad was under pressure from their clubs to withdraw from the team to minimise the risk of injury.
Sterling withdrew from the squad due to a calf injury and Mourinho drew a contrast between the City player’s involvement and that of his Tottenham players, as Eric Dier was forced to pull out of last month’s internationals with a hamstring problem that also ruled him out of club football.
Mourinho believes Sterling will play against Spurs on Saturday and called on Southgate to go public with the details of his discussions with club coaches, especially after Harry Kane, Dier and Winks were all involved in the Nations League game against Iceland on Wednesday with England unable to qualify for the next stage.
“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,” Mourinho told a news conference on Friday.
“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.
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“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.
“I’m OK with that [Kane starting against Iceland]. A national team match should never be a dead rubber like you call it. The only problem for me is should be the same for everybody, not just for some.”