England’s newest call-ups were among those reminded of their responsibilities by manager Gareth Southgate in a team meeting held at St George’s Park following the national team’s latest disciplinary episode.
The trio have been told to stay away from St George’s Park while the Football Association assesses the level of risk to the rest of the squad. Abraham, Chilwell and Sancho have all apologised for their conduct.
The incident follows Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood’s expulsion from their first senior England camp last month. The pair met two women outside of the national team’s bio-secure bubble after the 1-0 win over Iceland in Reykjavik.
Southgate held a team meeting on Monday night and reminded his players – including first-time call-ups Harvey Barnes, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Bukayo Saka – of the added scrutiny that comes at international level.
“We had a general meeting with the squad,” said Barnes, whose early season form for Leicester City has been recognised by the England manager. “It wasn’t just Gareth but us players, we all spoke as well and just made sure we’re all on the same page with it.
“We realise the responsibility that we have now and as players we know that we’re in the public’s eye. I suppose the responsibility and the actions that we make are going to be out there, so it was just really a reminder to everyone, making sure we’re doing stuff on and off the pitch.”
Barnes added: “For us, it wasn’t a telling-off. It was just more reminding ourselves of what’s acceptable and what’s not, and I think we’re all very clear on that. We’re all very supportive of the whole group.”
Calvert-Lewin, the Premier League’s joint-top scorer with six goals from his opening four games, said: “You have to be extra, extra careful and follow the rules. It’s a unique time and we always have to be extra attentive to those rules. That’s the way it is when you’re representing your country.”
The Everton striker denied that there is a lack of discipline in the England camp, despite the number of high-profile incidents involving Southgate’s players of late.
“There’s been a few lapses in concentration and that’s all I’d put it down to,” he said. “We’re human beings at the end of the day, we’re still learning and still growing.
“Everybody is likely to make mistakes at times, but it’s important we learn from it, apologise, recognise where you’ve gone wrong and keep improving. Obviously the lads have done, but there’s not that feeling, no.”
Southgate insisted upon announcing his squad for the October internationals that he did not feel the need to “read the riot act” to his players, but said he wanted them to know “what it means to wear the shirt”.
“What we found in the last camp was lots of new players coming in,” he said last week.
“I think always you have to work at culture. It never is embedded forever, it’s constantly evolving. The team group is constantly evolving as players come and go.
“So you have always got to keep affecting that, keep addressing that, and we will discuss the shirt, what it means to wear the shirt and some reminders on how we work.”