'I have massive empathy for Jose' - Southgate feels for Mourinho in Jones row

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The Three Lions manager has responded to the Red Devils boss after criticism over the decision to play the defender against Germany

England boss Gareth Southgate understands Jose Mourinho's anger over an injury to Phil Jones but insists he trusts the decisions made by his medical staff.

The Manchester United centre-back has not played for his club since being withdrawn in the first half of this month's 0-0 friendly draw with Germany with a thigh problem.

Mourinho was scathing of England's decision to play Jones, claiming he had never before experienced a player receiving six pain-killing injections in order to play in a non-competitive game.

Southgate, however, says there has been ongoing talks with United over the issue and gave his backing to the national team's doctors.

"First and foremost, I have massive empathy with Jose," he said ahead of Friday's World Cup draw.

"As a manager, you don't want to lose players to injury. For me, as the national coach, that's the worst scenario: when a player goes back to his club and is not able to play.

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"Manchester United are incredibly supportive of everything we do. Sometimes people suggest that is not the case but they are arguably our most supportive club. We are very conscious of our relationship with them.

"We have got ongoing dialogue over this situation – it is a complex one and we want to make sure we get these things right.

"Equally, I have every trust in our medical team that they make the right calls. They are very experienced people and this is an unfortunate situation and we hope Phil is back playing as soon as he can be."

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