Gareth Southgate warns English stars to keep clean and avoid European Championship red cards

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Gareth Southgate warns England stars to keep clean and avoid red cards at Euros… with boss claiming European umpires are ‘much less tolerant’ as he tries to avoid repeating costly mistakes from previous tournaments

Gareth Southgate has told his young England players not to allow poor discipline to ruin their European Championships.

The England manager is preparing his injured team for Sunday’s final friendly before the tournament against Romania in Middlesbrough. And he has made it clear that he wants his players to avoid the pitfalls that have brought down previous generations in major tournaments.

Southgate said: “We talk a lot about giving away free kicks because you know that when you go into tournaments, teams are going to be dangerous from set plays.

Gareth Southgate has urged his players to remain calm and maintain their discipline at all times

Red cards have historically proved expensive for England in tournament knockout matches.  Reece James was sent off in October in a Nations League game against Denmark

Red cards have historically proved expensive for England in tournament knockout matches. Reece James was sent off in October in a Nations League game against Denmark

“You have to compete, but you have to make sure you don’t give away mistakes. And we definitely need to make sure we keep 11 men on the pitch at all times as that has been a downfall in the past. We’ve always talked about that and it won’t be any different in the coming weeks.’

Southgate was part of the England team that left for Argentina during the 1998 World Cup after David Beckham was ejected for resigning from Diego Simeone.

Wayne Rooney was sacked for a similar offense when England lost to Portugal in the quarter-finals of the 2006 World Cup.

Wayne Rooney was sent off against Portugal in the quarter-finals of the 2006 World Cup

Wayne Rooney was sent off against Portugal in the quarter-finals of the 2006 World Cup

England have been shown four red cards during tournaments and Southgate do not want a repeat

England have been shown four red cards during tournaments and Southgate do not want a repeat

England had not had a red card in 40 games before Kyle Walker was sent off in Iceland last September. But Reece James and Harry Maguire were sacked against Denmark a month later.

Against Austria on Wednesday night, Tyrone Mings would have been sent off if the VAR had been available. The Aston Villa defender body checked an opponent for the ball. The players have previously been warned by Southgate that umpires are stricter at international level.

“It’s very difficult to improve your position in a 10-man game,” he said last season. “History and statistics tell you that. Part of this is the realization that referees in European football will arbitrate differently. I found they were much less tolerant.’

Tyrone Mings was lucky enough to avoid red for a blatant body check that could have been punished

Tyrone Mings was lucky enough to avoid red for a blatant body check that could have been punished

England players were actually quite reserved when it came to retaliation against Austria. Jack Grealish came in for a particularly severe treatment.

The Aston Villa playmaker is likely to be involved with Romania. Manchester City and Chelsea players have joined England after a break after last Saturday’s Champions League final, but will not compete on Sunday.

Manchester United duo Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford are available for the first time after their defeat in the Europa League final.

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