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Southgate warns Maddison about casino incident during England's defeat

00:43 BST 14/10/2019
James Maddison Leicester City Wolves 2019-20
The Leicester City star was pictured in a casino during England's 2-1 defeat to the Czech Republic, after pulling out of the squad due to illness

England boss Gareth Southgate has sent a thinly-veiled warning to James Maddison after the Leicester City playmaker was pictured in a casino on Friday.

The Foxes midfielder, 22, had withdrawn from the Three Lions squad because of illness but made headlines after being seen in the venue during the Three Lions’ shock 2-1 defeat to the Czech Republic.

Southgate addressed the situation ahead of Monday’s trip to Bulgaria, where England will be looking to get their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign back on track.

“He sent a message to say the story was going to be in the paper,” Southgate said.

“My focus has to be with the players here in Sofia - getting the reaction that we want and everybody in the right place for the game.

“I don’t want to discuss individuals but I know pretty much everything about all my players. I watch every minute of their football.

“I speak to their club managers, the coaches of the junior teams.

“We never know absolutely everything but we have a very clear picture. That’s the due diligence you have to do.”

Maddison has been in excellent form for Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes side this season, but is still yet to make his senior international debut.

Though he has played nine times for the Under-21 side, the former Norwich man wasn’t brought on against Bulgaria and Kosovo during the last international break and is reportedly frustrated at Southgate’s failure not to hand him a first cap.

“I’m sure he recognises now that when you are with England, there’s a different sort of spotlight on you and your private life,” Southgate added.

“Young players probably aren’t as aware of that. That goes with the territory. It’s a high-profile position.

“I don’t like losing money so the casino is not the place for me. We’ve focused on getting a response. Everything else is back to the office at the end of the week.”

Following Friday’s game, England are level on 12 points with the Czech Republic in Group A, though Southgate’s side are ahead on goal difference and have a game in hand.

Third-placed Kosovo still have a chance of qualifying, four points behind the top two having played the same number of games as England.

The Three Lions’ final two qualifying games for next summer’s tournament will be against Montenegro and Kosovo during the next international break in mid-November.