October 21, 2020

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Chelsea news: Gareth Southgate sends message to ‘incredible’ Reece James after England red card

3 min read

England boss Gareth Southgate praised Reece James despite his red card (Pictures: Sky Sports / Getty)

Gareth Southgate praised Reece James for his ‘incredible’ England debut but insists the Chelsea defender needs to ‘learn his lesson’ after getting sent off against Denmark.

On his full international debut, James produced an impressive performance at Wembley on Wednesday night despite England slipping to a 1-0 defeat in the Nations League clash.

James’ impressive debut was somewhat overshadowed by the red card he was shown in the aftermath of the loss.

Southgate said: ‘That’s a lesson he’s got to learn. He had an incredible debut, he’s impressed me all week.

‘Until that moment he’d showed great maturity. It’s ended up something that shouldn’t have happened but for the overall week he’s made a positive impression.’

James was the second England player to see red against Denmark, with Manchester United captain Harry Maguire dismissed in the first half after two late challenges.

The Chelsea defender was shown a red card after the final whistle (Picture: Getty)

Just minutes after Maguire’s sending off, Denmark won a penalty and former Premier League star Christian Eriksen scored what turned out to be the winner from the spot.

Asked whether England have a discipline problem, Southgate added: ‘It’s an obvious question we’re going to be asked. We’ve put ourselves in unnecessary positions off the pitch.

‘The reds for Kyle Walker and Harry Maguire here, one yellow justified, one not so sure. We’ve got to learn from it because if you go down to 10, historically that means we’re out, especially if you’re doing it for an hour.’

Southgate also insisted he was ‘proud’ of his England team despite the defeat which leaves their Nations League hopes in tatters.

‘I was very proud of the performance,’ Southgate said.

‘I thought we were excellent with 11 men and causing them all sorts of problems down our right-hand side.

‘The [Maguire] sending off alters everything and the penalty. It’s a foul on Kyle Walker and I don’t see the foul at all. The less said about that the better.’

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MORE: Why Chelsea defender Reece James was sent off after final whistle

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