Raheem Sterling urged UEFA to take "a proper stance" against racism by issuing Montenegro with a stadium ban after he and England team-mate Danny Rose were allegedly targeted by monkey chants in Podgorica on Monday.

England ran out impressive 5-1 winners in the Euro 2020 qualifier, but the match was overshadowed by apparent racist abuse, with Sterling appearing to react while celebrating the fifth goal.

Manager Gareth Southgate claimed Rose was targeted after picking up a yellow card in second-half stoppage time, while Callum Hudson-Odoi said he heard "monkey stuff".

UEFA has often been accused of not punishing incidents of racist abuse harshly enough, and Sterling was mindful of that when demanding European football's governing body comes down hard on Montenegro.

When asked by Sky Sports if a stadium ban should be issued, Sterling said: "Yeah, it's got to be something that serious for them and make them think twice about ever doing something like that again.

"I can only, we can only, the FA can only do so much. We've got to leave this to the people in charge to make a proper stance on it.

"Just banning one or two people is not going to change anything, you've got to make [an example] – even if it was our fans, I'd be saying the same thing.

"The people in charge need to actually do it [punish] as a whole, the whole [of the] Montenegro fans. I don't know, I'm not the one who makes the rules, but they've got to do something that makes a real stance.

"It's 2019 now, I keep saying it. It's a shame to see this still going on. We can only bring awareness to the situation.

"It's now time for the people in charge to put a real stamp on it. You can fine someone, but what's that going to do?

"You've got to make it harder, you've got to punish the whole [group of] fans, [so] that [they] can't come to the ground.

"You've got to do something to really make them think twice, because if their team can't play with fans, it means it's going to be difficult for them, so it's got to be something to make them think twice about."

Callum Hudson-Odoi described "monkey" chants by Montenegro supporters as "unacceptable" and hopes that UEFA will deal with it following England's Euro 2020 qualifier.

Gareth Southgate's side ran out 5-1 winners, but alleged racist abuse directed at England players towards the end of the Group A contest threatens to overshadow Monday's match, with Raheem Sterling appearing to react to the chants while celebrating the fifth goal.

Proceedings got feisty late on in Podgorica as Danny Rose was booked for a heavy challenge, and it was then that reporters in the stadium claimed abuse was aimed at the Tottenham full-back.

Chelsea forward Hudson-Odoi – making his first start for the Three Lions – confirmed he heard "monkey stuff" from the stands and the 18-year-old hopes robust action will be taken.

"I don't think discrimination should be anywhere, we are equal," Hudson-Odoi told beIN Sports.

"We have to play a fair game and enjoy the moment, but when you're hearing stuff like that from the fans, it's not right, it's unacceptable. Hopefully UEFA deal with it properly.

"When I went over there, me and Rose heard it, they were saying: 'oohh ah ah', monkey stuff. We have to keep our heads, have a strong mentality.

"Hopefully Rose is okay, and we'll have a chat about what happened, but he's got a strong mentality, he's a strong guy, and hopefully UEFA deal with it. It's not right at all.

"Raheem always helped, he's been talking to me about it, saying: 'listen, don't worry about it, it's football, people do it, it's not right, but you've got to stay strong'.

"I've spoken to him and Rose about it at the same time, and they said that in football you always get things like that, people will always be rude, say things you don't want to hear.

"Sometimes you've got to block it out of your heads, but it should not happen in football. It's unacceptable."

Gareth Southgate urged Callum Hudson-Odoi to maintain the effort he has shown over his first two appearances with England.

Having made a cameo against the Czech Republic on Friday, Hudson-Odoi – who is yet to make a Premier League start for Chelsea – was handed his full England debut in Monday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro.

The 18-year-old repaid Southgate's faith with an impressive performance, which included an assist for Ross Barkley for England's second goal in a 5-1 victory.

And Southgate set Hudson-Odoi, who was the subject of interest from Bayern Munich in January, the task of continuing to push to become an elite player.

"Young Callum Hudson-Odoi, a fabulous performance, he's shown us what he's shown us all week," Southgate told ITV.

"I don't need to speak; his performance spoke really. With young players it is always up to them [how good they can be].

"He's got the talent. His application with us has been excellent, he's got to continue that. This is a great step forward for him but like any player you've got to constantly work and constantly look to improve."

England fell behind in the 17th minute but equalised through Michael Keane before Barkley's double put the three points beyond doubt, though alleged racist abuse from a section of the home support overshadowed the result.

Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling were also on target in the closing and Southgate was pleased with another vibrant performance.

"Really pleased," he added. "The game was a simple one in that we talked all week about using the width, making sure we didn't turn down the option of using our wingers, and our wingers were incredibly productive.

"The team recovered from going behind in a place that has been very difficult for us before. They showed good character and it was a good test for them."

Two-goal Ross Barkley praised England's character after they came from behind to thrash Montenegro 5-1 in Podgorica on Monday.

Marko Vesovic's well-taken opener had put the hosts ahead early on, but Barkley set up Michael Keane for the equaliser before scoring twice to put the game beyond their opponents.

Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling added gloss to the scoreline late on and Barkley was impressed with how the Three Lions responded to the early setback to make it two wins from two in Euro 2020 qualifying Group A.

"Montenegro was always going to be a hard test but we showed character to come back and put in a positive performance," he told ITV. "It was a great night for myself."

Callum Hudson-Odoi, making his first start for Gareth Southgate's side, echoed Barkley's sentiments.

"Hopefully I did well, it is not about me, it is a team performance," he said.

"We had a great mentality from the start, going down was disappointing but we got back into it.

"I reacted slow to the ball and they scored from it. We have to react positively and keep going."

England manager Gareth Southgate is adamant Three Lions left-back Danny Rose was racially abused by Montenegro fans during Monday's Euro 2020 qualifier in Podgorica.

Southgate's impressive side ran out 5-1 winners having fallen behind, Ross Barkley the star of the show with two goals and an assist.

But alleged racist abuse directed at England players towards the end of the contest threatens to overshadow the match, with Raheem Sterling appearing to react to the chants while celebrating the fifth goal.

Proceedings got feisty late on as Rose was booked for a heavy challenge, and it was then that reporters in the stadium claimed abuse was aimed at the Tottenham full-back.

Southgate insisted he heard it as well, confirming England will be reporting the incident to UEFA.

Speaking to ITV after the game, Southgate said: "I definitely heard it when Danny Rose got booked towards the end of the game.

"There's no doubt in my mind that happened, and we'll report it to UEFA. It's not acceptable.

"I had a quick chat with Danny as I heard that, but I've not had a chance to talk to Raheem yet.

"I don't want to speculate yet, but I know what I heard. We will definitely deal with it in the right way. We have to make sure we support our players."

Ross Barkley was decisive with two goals and an assist as England thrashed Montenegro 5-1 in Podgorica on Monday to make it two wins from as many games in Euro 2020 qualifying.

Barkley – like full debutants Declan Rice and Callum Hudson-Odoi – was starting due to injuries, and he took full advantage of his opportunity, inspiring the rampant Three Lions by having a hand in three goals.

Marko Vesovic's well-taken opener had England on the back foot early on, but they went into the break ahead thanks to Michael Keane's first international goal and an instinctive finish from Barkley, who set up the equaliser.

England's play became sloppy at times early in the second period but Barkley effectively ended Montenegro's chances just before the hour, before Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling wrapped up the victory to add to Friday's 5-0 demolition of the Czech Republic at Wembley.

Although England controlled the early exchanges, Montenegro took the lead against the run of play in the 17th minute – Vesovic beating Jordan Pickford with a curling effort from 12 yards after playing the ball against Keane.

The England centre-back levelled at the half-hour mark, however, finding the bottom-right corner with a fine header from Barkley's free-kick.

Barkley was vital again as England took the lead eight minutes later, diverting Hudson-Odoi's slightly wayward shot in from close range.

Danijel Petkovic was helpless in the 59th minute as Sterling' cutback was knocked straight to Barkley by Stefan Savic, and the Chelsea man swept home from the centre of the area.

Kane got in on the act with 19 minutes to play, tapping a squared pass from Sterlin - who was released by Barkley - in from close range for his 17th goal in 20 England appearances under Gareth Southgate.

Manchester City star Sterling rounded things off in the 80th minute with a tidy finish following substitute Jordan Henderson's incisive pass.

 

What does it mean? England's character shines through

Although England's performance against the Czech Republic was impressive, they were not exactly required to show much mental fortitude. The same cannot be said about their trip to Podgorica, as they fell behind early on to a team more than prepared to scrap.

It was not vintage, but they showed a strength of character and ruthlessness rarely associated with England teams over the past two decades.

Hudson-Odoi proves his place is merited

While Barkley was the star of the show, Hudson-Odoi deserves praise. Many spoke of misgivings about his senior call-up given he is yet to even start a Premier League game for Chelsea, but – after a shaky start – the 18-year-old winger more than showed his class.

Savic all at sea

Montenegro's captain and most-recognisable player, Savic endured a less than impressive outing. He failed to cut out Sterling's pass for Barkley's second goal and then let Kane run through for his solitary strike.

What's next?

While Montenegro return to qualifying action in just under three months with games against Kosovo and the Czech Republic, England's next outing is their Nations League semi-final with Netherlands in June.

Declan Rice and Callum Hudson-Odoi will make their first England starts in Monday's Euro 2020 qualifier away to Montenegro.

The Three Lions began their campaign with a crushing 5-0 win over the Czech Republic on Friday, with both players making their international bows off the bench.

But, due to a number of injuries and fitness doubts, they have moved into the starting XI in Podgorica.

Eric Dier was forced off in the first half on Friday, while Jordan Henderson and Jadon Sancho – both of whom are among the substitutes against Montenegro – are struggling with fitness issues.

Hudson-Odoi has come in for Sancho on the wing, Rice takes the place of Henderson and Ross Barkley replaces Dier as he did at Wembley.

It is a particularly big achievement for 18-year-old Hudson-Odoi, given he is yet to start a Premier League game for Chelsea.

The only other change sees Danny Rose replace Ben Chilwell at left-back.

England are out to make it two wins from as many games in Group A, while Montenegro will hope to improve on their 1-1 draw away to Bulgaria on matchday one.

Dele Alli believes England are on track to become the best team in the world as they look to climb the FIFA rankings.

Gareth Southgate's Three Lions enjoyed an outstanding 2018, reaching the World Cup semi-finals in Russia and then booking their place in the upcoming Nations League Finals.

England enjoyed landmark wins over Spain and Croatia along the way, with the team up to fifth in the global standings before the latest round of fixtures.

Alli and Co are targeting Belgium's number one spot, though, and the Tottenham midfielder says there is no lack of belief in the England camp.

"We want to be the number one team in the world," Alli said, as reported by The Mirror. "To do that, you have to be at it in every game and, when you come away, you have to prove yourself every time.

"We definitely believe we can be the best in the world. Obviously everyone will have their opinions, but the work we've been putting in is to achieve that.

"We know there's a long way to go, a lot of work to be done, but we feel we are definitely heading in the right direction."

England would take a big step towards that target if they were to win the Nations League at the end of the season - and Alli is relishing the opportunity.

"The Nations League tournament has had some unbelievable teams in it," he said. "Look at our group [with Spain and Croatia] and see how tough it was.

"It's exciting for us to try to win another trophy. We're looking forward to it. We'll prepare properly, focus on the Euro 2020 games first and then obviously, when the time comes, prepare as well as we can for the Nations League.

"But we've proven so far since Gareth came in that we can beat the top sides and everyone can see the direction we're heading in, which is exciting.

"We had a great World Cup but it was important to show with the results after that it was not just a one-off. We are a good team, I think we've shown that, and we have beaten some good teams.

"We need to keep challenging ourselves. We can't stop now and I think the gaffer definitely won't let that happen."

Gareth Southgate believes star forward Raheem Sterling has the qualities to captain England in the future.

Sterling has established himself as a key man for the Three Lions and is enjoying a rich vein of form, netting a hat-trick against the Czech Republic on Friday after scoring twice in Spain late last year.

The Manchester City talisman is also acting as a mentor for young prospects Jadon Sancho and Callum Hudson-Odoi, while he was widely praised for commenting on perceived racial discrimination earlier this season.

England boss Southgate has seen enough to know that, should the side be without skipper Harry Kane, Sterling would be ready to step into a leadership role.

"We've had three or four players captaining the team, and Raheem is developing lots of the qualities those guys have," Southgate told reporters ahead of Monday's meeting with Montenegro.

"He has those qualities. It's difficult to talk about a potential captain when the captain [Kane] is in the hotel waiting to go out for dinner, but in terms of his personal qualities, he's shown some outstanding personal qualities."

The Three Lions manager has already introduced Sterling to the team's senior leadership group, explaining: "In between November and March, observing his maturity and influence, I felt that would be a good step for him.

"I think when you speak to other young players, he's one of the first they speak about making them feel really comfortable in the environment. That was a really important move for him."

England manager Gareth Southgate will make late fitness checks on Jordan Henderson, Dele Alli and Jadon Sancho for Monday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro.

All three players are carrying injuries after a 5-0 thumping against the Czech Republic at Wembley got the Three Lions' Group A campaign off to a flying start.

Henderson was expected to make his 50th international appearance in Podgorica but the Liverpool captain could be forced to miss the game with an ankle problem.

Southgate suggested he could name an unchanged side from England's demolition of the Czech Republic but was considering bringing in new faces even before fitness issues threatened to force his hand.

"There are a couple we need to check," he told a news conference on Sunday. "Jordan being one, in the morning. I think I will make some changes. Freshness can improve the team.

"The difference in some of the positions is so close in terms of who you'd pick, a fresher player may bring us more. I don't want to make heaps of changes, so I want the right balance.

"A couple of checks on Dele, who's missed a lot of football with a hamstring, Henderson with the injury he arrived with, Sancho a bit tight after the game. Nothing of a huge concern, but we want to make sure we are right."

England have never won in Montenegro, drawing on their two previous visits, with Kyle Walker the only player in Southgate's young squad to have made the trip.

A feisty atmosphere is likely and Southgate has asked the Manchester City defender to inform his team-mates what they should expect.

"It's something we've talked about a lot. Our undoing has often been a lack of discipline in matches," Southgate added.

"That is expected of this group now. They have to respond in the right way, stay calm in moments. A lot of times, going down to 10 men affects the result of games. We have to make sure we don't allow them that opportunity.

"Kyle Walker is the only player to have played in the fixture, so he spoke a bit in the meeting on Sunday about the experience to help the players prepare for what's coming so it's not a surprise.

"I expect all the players, even the younger ones, to show leadership in their own way. But [we need] to have the older ones setting the example in those tense moments.

"We have certainly witnessed flares on the pitch in the past and we've spoken about not going over to deal with those on your own. We have had those discussions.

"It's the referee's responsibility to deal with anything thrown on the field. We have to alert him to it. There is a danger in picking those things up to remove them yourself. We've made the players aware of that. Even the goalkeeper got that.

"It's really intense. A passionate local support. That's often the way travelling in Europe, playing qualifying ties."

England manager Gareth Southgate paid tribute to Jordan Henderson and his "winning mentality" as the Liverpool midfielder closes in on a 50th international cap.

Henderson first featured for England's senior side in 2010, starting alongside Steven Gerrard in a 2-1 friendly defeat to France.

Although he had to wait over a year for his next cap, the Liverpool midfielder steadily became a regular in England squads and featured prominently as the Three Lions reached the World Cup semi-finals last year. 

Henderson has often divided opinion among fans at domestic and international level, but Southgate is among his admirers. 

The 28-year-old will win his 50th cap if he features against Montenegro in Podgorica on Monday and the England boss commended him for the achievement.

"He's such an important player for us, with his winning mentality," said Southgate. 

"He makes others player well – he's a leader."

Henderson acknowledged the looming landmark was a source of pride, though he insisted it is not something he will be dwelling on.

"I'm proud to play for my country, but the type of person I am, I'll not really think about it too much," he said.

"Maybe I'll think about it when I finish my career, but at the moment I just want to concentrate on doing the best for my team.

"When I finish my career or my England career, then I can look back and decide if it was good or not."

Shaun Edwards indicated a job with England would be convenient given his proximity to Twickenham, yet he noted talk of a role with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) was "just hypothetical".

Despite having last year agreed to take over as head coach of Wigan Warriors, it has since emerged Edwards only made "an oral agreement" with the Super League club, and he has spoken about his willingness to "consider all offers".

It has been suggested the RFU may be keen to bring Edwards on board once his time with Wales comes to an end after the Rugby World Cup.

London-based Edwards lives near the RFU's headquarters at Twickenham and he mused about the possibility of a role there in an interview with The Sunday Times.

"Unless you get an offer from someone it is all hypothetical, isn't it," he said.

"But it's true Twickenham is just down the road, much closer than Wales. I could get the tube there."

Dai Young, director of rugby for Premiership side Wasps, revealed on Saturday that his club had spoken to Edwards about him returning to a team he coached for 10 years from 2001.

Harry Maguire has declared Raheem Sterling to be the best player in the Premier League this season and wants England fans to "cherish" the in-form Manchester City winger.  

Sterling was the star turn for England against the Czech Republic on Friday, grabbing a hat-trick in a 5-0 triumph just two weeks after scoring all of City's goals in a 3-1 win over Watford. 

The 24-year-old has earned praise from Leicester City defender and international team-mate Maguire, who revealed Sterling received his vote for the PFA Players' Player of the Year award. 

"I think he's been the best player in the Premier League," Maguire told the media. "He's scoring goals, creating goals and he's a nightmare to play against. 

"He's taken his game from last year, where people saw the rise of Raheem, to this season where he has gone on to another level. 

"It's harsh in terms of the [PFA] voting in that at this stage you don't know who’s going to win the Premier League. But I went with Raheem. 

"It's an exciting time for the country to have him and we should cherish him and look after him while he's playing at such a high level. 

"Personally, I want to see him scoring goals week in, week out, and especially against teams around us, not against us!"

England play Montenegro on Monday in another Euro 2020 qualifier and Maguire has high hopes for achieving success at the tournament after reaching the last four at the 2018 World Cup.

"At the next tournament we'll want to go further," Maguire said. "I think we are the only semi-finalists of the World Cup teams to get through to the Nations League finals, so that shows the progress we are making.

"There were comments after the World Cup that we didn't beat any of the top, world-class teams, so it was nice to be put in a group with teams like Croatia and Spain – arguably the most difficult one of all – and come out on top.

"The improvement we've shown since Gareth has come in, and the style of football we're playing, it feels like everyone's excited to watch us.

"But the main thing is winning games. We've got the summer to look forward to when we can win a trophy."

Raheem Sterling is acting as an inspiration to Jadon Sancho and England's next generation of stars.

Manchester City forward Sterling continued his scintillating recent form with a hat-trick for Gareth Southgate's side against the Czech Republic on Friday, also winning a penalty that was converted by captain Harry Kane in a 5-0 Euro 2020 qualification rout.

Sancho was handed a full competitive debut and responded by laying on Sterling's 24th-minute breakthrough goal amid an eye-catching display.

The teenager, who turns 19 when England face Montenegro on Monday, has been a revelation in the Bundesliga this season for Borussia Dortmund.

Despite turning his back on a professional deal with City in 2017, Sancho and Sterling remain close.

Southgate revealed Sterling had been added to the leadership group in his England squad and a role as mentor to the likes of Sancho and Callum Hudson-Odoi - the Chelsea winger who made his debut from the bench in the Czech game - appears to come naturally to the 24-year-old.

"He is a great player; he is showing all the youngsters what it's about and I am sure that he is going to go far in his career," Sancho said. "I'm just happy I'm sharing a pitch with him.

"His numbers are crazy this year, I'm just happy for him.

"He's cool, he speaks to me and Callum about what to do and what not to do and he gives us advice.

"It's very good, especially as he is from London as well. He knows the background I've come from.

"He's been helping me a lot, but it's not just him. Everyone has made me and Callum comfortable and made us feel welcome."

Although Sancho joked his assist to set in motion Sterling's treble laid on "an easy goal I think anyone would have been able to score", he felt there was room for improvement in his overall display after an injury to Manchester United's Marcus Rashford opened up a spot in the England front three.

"I think it could have gone better, my one-v-ones weren't sharp, but I am just happy that I'm on the pitch and starting my first competitive game, and happy to assist the first goal," he said.

"I've got a lot of improvements to make on the pitch and in the next game against Montenegro, if I get the chance, I am sure I'll do better."

City manager Pep Guardiola, who has overseen Sterling's rapid development into an indispensable star for club and country, last week claimed Sancho "didn't want the challenge" of winning a place in a talent-stacked first-team squad at the Etihad Stadium.

When this was put to the England youngster, he was in no mood to be drawn into a war of words.

"I didn't read that. That's his opinion, I am just happy at Borussia Dortmund at the moment and I am just happy that I am playing," Sancho added. 

Gareth Southgate has suggested Jack Grealish must play Premier League football if he is to receive his first England call-up.

Grealish, 23, has not featured for England since switching allegiance from the Republic of Ireland, despite impressing at club level with Aston Villa in the Championship.

Southgate handed Callum Hudson-Odoi, who is yet to start a Premier League game for Chelsea, a debut in England's 5-0 trouncing of the Czech Republic on Friday, with Declan Rice also called up to the latest squad.

England's faith in youth has been a staple of Southgate's time in charge of the Three Lions, but while Grealish remains within a chance of a call-up, the manager acknowledged the midfielder's prospects would increase if he made the step up to the top flight.

"Jack worked with us in the Under-21s briefly," Southgate said.

"The difficulty is always, although we can see the quality, when the evidence of the opponent is a different level, that's where it's hard to directly correlate what that is going to look like at a level above.

"With Callum, he's playing Europa League, he's playing Premier League, that does make a difference.

"I'm not going to say we won't pick a player from the Championship because that could happen but it's far more difficult to assess his level.

"You see certain parts of the game but not others. Not the physicality at times, nor the tactical discipline.

"That's another level in the Premier League, the speed, the pace. So, he's a player we know all about, he's a player we track.

"But that last bit of evidence that could give you confidence to pick him at the moment we won't see. But as an ex-Villa man I hope it's not too long before we do see it."

Hudson-Odoi impressed after coming on against the Czech Republic, playing a key part in Tomas Kalas' own goal, and Southgate is confident he made the correct decision in calling the Chelsea youngster up.

"We've got competition for places," Southgate added. "I think with attacking players anyway they mature very young, and they can go in very young.

"So it's not an issue to play them, and really we've found another player that we really liked [in Hudson-Odoi], but we weren't certain that he'd be able to adapt to this level, and we're a bit fortunate in finding him.

"We probably wouldn't have done that in this camp, we'd have given him a bit longer in the Under-21s. But already he's proved in this environment that he can more than cope. He's a very confident boy."

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