Pochettino rejects Southgate’s Reece James claims
Mauricio Pochettino has reacted to the claim by England manager, Gareth Southgate, that Reece James turned down a chance to represent the Three Lions in their upcoming matches against Malta and North Macedonia.
Chelsea duo, Levi Colwill and Conor Gallagher have again, been handed a call-up by Southgate, but when asked about James’ absence from his squad list, the England manager said he wanted to invite the Chelsea captain, but his effort was rejected.
Pochettino was quizzed about the matter during his pre-match press conference on Friday, and the Chelsea manager addressed the claim by Southgate.
“It’s about taking the best decision for the player, the national team, and Chelsea,” said Pochettino.
“It’s not a decision for Reece. He is desperate to go, he wants to go, but there are two parts: the national team and the club. They have to make the best decision for him.
“After the problems, he is starting to feel fit again. I am happy we will be with us because it’s two weeks to work with him again, and I’m sure he will have the opportunity to join the national team in the future.”
Pochettino also spoke about Raheem Sterling and other England players who are eager to be involved for their national team, after missing out on a chance to do so again, in the upcoming window.
He went on: “It’s difficult to talk because I don’t want to say anything about the decision, because Gareth Southgate is the coach and we need to respect his decision. All I can say is Raheem, Reece and all the English players have the spirit to go to the national team because they really love to be involved with the national team.
“Sometimes they feel disappointed because they are not but the only way to change the situation is working hard with your club and showing you deserve to be there and respect the decision of the coach. But they are desperate to be involved in the national team. The decision is not in their hands, it is just in their hands to perform.”