Gareth Southgate explains why only two England players must isolate after Gilmour contact 1 month ago

Gareth Southgate explains why only two England players must isolate after Gilmour contact

"I don't want to cause a drama for Scotland, but... "

Gareth Southgate did not need this extra hassle ahead of his side's final Euro 2020 group game.

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The England boss has been left reeling after being forced to rejig his Starting XI plans just over 24 hours out from a crucial Euro 2020 group game against Czech Republic.

Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell are both isolating after they were identified as close contacts of Scotland midfielder Billy Gilmour, following on from following on from England's 0-0 draw on Friday.

At his pre-game press conference, which took place less than 30 minutes after that news was released, Southgate confirmed that both players must be considered doubtful for that Czech game.

 

The England boss harked back to comments he made in March, when he suggested that vaccinating all players at the tournament would be a wise course of action. He then tempered that line by stating he is fully aware of how other members of society may be placed higher up the list of vaccination priorities.

"You need to go back to my [vaccination] suggestions in March," he told reporters, "where I was fairly firmly shouted down about daring to suggest anything of the sort... I did propose it but I also said that I totally understood where we stood in the pecking order for vaccinations and it's more important that the clinically vulnerable and everyone else receive those first."

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Southgate believes we will soon get to the point where a positive Covid case, which is seeing Gilmour forced to isolate for 10 days, will not even rule players out of games. That will not come, he feels, until a wider spread of the general public are vaccinated.

Southgate says he was not involved in any formal observations about bumping players up the vaccination list, but adds that he did make his views clear, earlier this year.

Many football supporters have been let asking why only two England players have been told to isolate, while none of the Scotland squad have been given similar advice ahead of their Tuesday clash with Croatia.

"I don't know all of the factors behind that, but it is clearly nothing to do with being on the pitch. So that's why there's no issues with teams training, for example. Going back to when the Premier League restarted, training and matches were shown to be a situation where there were not contacts for long enough for that to be a risk.

"We're just waiting to hear more information, at this moment in time."

Asked what the process was behind teams or health authorities identifying possible close contacts, Southgate commented, "I don't want to cause a drama for Scotland, but if you're all in the dressing room together, where does everything stand?"

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After that, it was back to questions about Harry Kane and if he will get hooked off again if he is not scoring goals.