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'He's like an idol to me' - Hudson-Odoi says Sterling reputation unaffected by Gomez bust-up

02:57 GMT+3 13/11/2019
Raheem Sterling England 2019
The incident has overshadowed England's preparations for this week's Euro 2020 qualifiers, but it seems the squad have already put it behind them

Callum Hudson-Odoi says Raheem Sterling remains his “idol” and insists the England squad have moved on from his bust-up with Joe Gomez.

The Manchester City forward will not be considered for Thursday’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro after being involved in a  physical confrontation with Gomez at England's training base on Monday.

Sterling has since apologised to the Liverpool defender and will remain with the squad ahead of Sunday’s trip to Kosovo, with Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate considering the matter closed.

Hudson-Odoi says the rest of the squad have also moved on and insists Sterling’s reputation among his teammates has not been adversely affected.

"We have moved on it," said the Chelsea winger, who is in contention to replace Sterling at Wembley on Thursday. "We have all discussed it as a team, we have had a little talk with each other, and make sure everything is OK. We just want to move on as a team and focus on the game on Thursday.

"I wasn’t really there, I didn’t see anything. I don’t even know what happened, I just heard about it.

"They all had a discussion, [and are] moving on as a team. And now we are just focusing on the game on Thursday.

"Raheem’s a very nice guy, he’s very encouraging, very positive about everything he does.

“When I first came in [to the squad], I didn’t expect him to be so nice. Of course he is a nice person but when you see somebody always welcoming you, just talking to you, giving you advice on how he plays and just being around you a lot it makes you feel so welcome in the team. All the other boys around were just being positive making sure you’re doing well, and everyone’s going good.

"Someone like Raheem is like an idol to me. The position he plays, and what he’s doing for club and country, is an amazing thing, which I will try to replicate myself. It is an amazing feeling to have someone like him doing what he’s doing and being around you every time. I want to keep learning off what he does. He is a nice person to be around, very positive."

Hudson-Odoi feels Sterling’s growing influence within the squad makes him a future contender for the England captaincy and has praised his leadership in helping to tackle racism in football. 

"He’s very positive about what he does," he added. "Whenever he says something, he wants to take a stance and make sure everything is OK with it, he doesn’t want to be left out of the team or anyone else thinking he is in the wrong, or someone is in the wrong. For the team, we all back each other no matter what it is.

"For someone like him, he’s a big leader in the team because he’s a very top player, he’s in club and country playing every game, working really hard, scoring a lot of goals, so someone like that have a say on racism it is a big feeling for all of us.

"He is sticking up for everyone who is involved in the game. It is a great feeling to know he’s going to do that."