Southgate defends Maguire selection in England squad amid trial in Greece before later dropping defender

Gareth Southgate Harry Maguire England 2018
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The Manchester United captain was initially picked for UEFA Nations League games against Denmark and Iceland, but was found guilty of assault

Gareth Southgate decided to include Harry Maguire in his England squad after hearing the Manchester United captain's version of the events that led to him standing trial in Greece - before later dropping him after he was found guilty.

Maguire was a subject of court proceedings on the Greek island of Syros on Tuesday, following his part in an altercation with police while on holiday in Mykonos.

The Manchester United captain was found guilty of charges of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, and repeated attempts of bribery, and was handed a 21-month suspended sentence.

He had the chance to speak to Southgate before being selected for next month's Nations League encounters with Iceland and Denmark.

The England manager initially hailed his first-choice central defender as "an outstanding character" within the national team set-up, and said he had no reason to doubt Maguire's account of last week's incident.

"It's clearly a decision that is not straightforward and a decision that, in the end, I can only take on the information I have," Southgate told a news conference. "I've spoken with Harry, I have insight to the story which is very different to what's been reported.

"In these instances, you can only make decisions based on facts that you're aware of. Now, clearly, if facts or information change further down the line, I have to review that decision.

"I have a fantastic relationship with the boy. Harry has been an outstanding character for us. I have no reason to doubt what he is telling me. It's important he knows that he's got my support at this moment."

"I am not going to get into hypotheticals of what might or might not happen. I have got to reserve the right to review if further information becomes available.

"I think if you are ever in a management position, you have to make lots of decisions. You always make decisions to the best of your ability given the information that you have.

"People might agree or disagree with those decisions. I think that’s the position every manager finds themselves in. In this moment in time, that’s where I am with it.

"As I said, Harry regrets the fact that he has brought that sort of focus and attention on the team and he apologised for that. But he also has his own side of the story which I think will come out in time."

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However, following the guilty verdict, Southgate reversed his decision.

Southgate said: "In light of this evening’s developments, I can confirm I have withdrawn Harry Maguire from the England squad for the matches against Iceland and Denmark

"As I said earlier today, I reserved the right to review the situation. Having spoken to Manchester United and the player, I have made this decision in the best interests of all parties and with consideration of the impact on our preparations for next week."