GARETH SOUTHGATE has made his peace with Jose Mourinho and says the Spurs boss can continue to get his name wrong any time he wants.
England boss Southgate was not too impressed when Mourinho urged him not to risk Harry Kane’s fitness by playing him in all three international games this week.
But he certainly wasn’t offended when he was mistakenly called ‘Gary’ by Mourinho, who has subsequently said sorry for his mistake and offered to be called ‘John’ in return.
Southgate said: “Jose messaged me privately to apologise and I kind of knew what he’d said because he’s called me Gary before in a media conference a few years ago.
“But I have no issue with that all and I told him that there’s only one Gareth he’s got to get right and that’s the player who will score goals for him this year.
“Goodness me, we have coaches coming to this country who can speak four or five languages like Jose.
“I’ve got ‘O’ level French and Spanish and that’s my limit.
“So to get every nuance of English right, well frankly I have huge admiration for the way they deal with that.”
Southgate also made it clear that he didn’t need instructions from Mourinho or any other manager about protecting his stars.
He said: “We’ve got to look after all the players, and I think we’ve always done that.
“I’ve been a player and I didn’t like it if managers took risks with me, although they never did because I always knew if I was ready or not and I was prepared to go for things a bit more than we do now.
“But medically I think we’re a lot tighter in this day and age. We don’t want players missing any football and I’m not prepared to risk their welfare.
“We have to balance the squad because there’s a huge schedule through the season.
“But I think we can keep freshness in the side for all three games we’ve got this week and still field teams that are more than capable of winning them all.”