New England manager Gareth Southgate says players’ off-field behaviour that adds pressure on the national side is “not intelligent”.
England captain Wayne Rooney apologised over “inappropriate” pictures of him at a wedding at the team hotel a day after the win over Scotland on 11 November.
There were also claims several players were out until late the same night.
“There’s a time to have a glass of beer or wine but at the appropriate time and the right level,” said Southgate.
On Thursday, the 46-year-old was held his first news conference since his permanent appointment on Wednesday.
“There is a level of expectation when you are with England,” he told BBC Radio 5 live.
“We talk about pressure, we spend most of our time trying to relieve that pressure and, if we put ourselves in positions where we are going to increase the pressure, then that is not intelligent.
“It is important as a playing squad and group of staff recognise that.
“We want to be a top team and so if we are going to do that everything has to be geared towards improving.”
Southgate has signed a four-year deal as England manager after stepping up from managing the Under-21s, initially on an interim basis.
He took over when Sam Allardyce’s reign came to an abrupt end in September over newspaper allegations of inappropriate conduct, and oversaw two wins and two draws in four games in charge.
The FA banned England players from having nights out on international duty following events last month when England played Scotland in a World Cup qualifier and Spain in a friendly four days later.
“You have to have an environment where you give people responsibility and you sometimes step back and learn a lot from those moments,” added Southgate.
“Everything has to be geared towards being successful. If we think we’re good enough to play the best teams in the world and give ourselves a slight handicap along the way then good luck with that.”
Southgate’s first competitive match in charge as permanent manager will be a friendly against Germany in Dortmund on 22 March.
Is Rooney still the England captain?
Rooney, 31, was captain for Southgate’s first game in interim charge as England beat Malta, but was dropped to face Slovenia before returning to the starting line-up to face Scotland and missing the Spain game with an injury.
Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson replaced the Manchester United captain for the two games he missed and Southgate is keen to “develop more leaders in that group”.
“It’s obviously not a case that Wayne expects to play every game,” said Southgate.
“When I played for England, particularly in 1996 when we had such a successful team, there were captains of their clubs throughout the team.
“If we are going to be successful over the next few years developing leadership and resilience is one of the key areas.”
Is there a break clause in Southgate’s contract?
England went out of the group stage at the 2010 World Cup and were embarrassingly beaten by Iceland in their first knockout game at Euro 2016, resulting in the departure of Roy Hodgson.
Southgate’s contract covers the 2018 World Cup in Russia and Euro 2020 and he confirmed “there is no break clause”.
“I want to be successful in this role and I’m taking over at a point where our last two tournaments have not been as successful as we would have liked,” he said.
“There is big potential in the squad but there is a lot of hard work ahead.
“It’s important to look at not just short-term results.”
Is there a place for ex-players in the coaching set-up?
Southgate, during his spell in charge of the U21s, had Chelsea assistant first-team coach Steve Holland as part of his backroom team.
Holland also combined his Chelsea job with being England first-team coach when Southgate was interim boss of the senior side.
“I think everyone knows how important Steve has been for me in terms of the work we’ve done in the last few years and in the last few weeks, there’s no secret in that,” said Southgate.
Asked whether former England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, who has recently retired, could join the staff, Southgate said the “doors at St George’s Park are always open”.
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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38167306