Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will auto-play soon8CancelPlay now
Want Euro 2020 news sent straight to your inbox? Sign up to our email updates
Invalid EmailSomething went wrong, please try again later.Sign UpWhen you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Your information will be used in accordance with ourPrivacy Notice.Thank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy notice
England boss Gareth Southgate hit back at Roy Keane following his comments on Jordan Henderson’s place in England’s Euro 2020 squad.
Keane launched a scathing attack on the decision to call Henderson into the 26-man squad for this summer’s finals, despite having been out of action since February with a groin injury.
Keane said the Three Lions management were “kidding themselves” if they believed the Liverpool captain could have a positive on-field impact at the finals.
"I was convinced Jordan was going to play the other day," he told ITV pre-game. "I think it's a huge distraction – he's clearly not fit.
"I don't think he should be involved. If he can't start against Romania, he's not fit.
"Physically and mentally, this game won't be that tough for him to deal with, he's an experienced player.
Jordan Henderson's fitness has been questioned ahead of Euro 2020
(Image: Getty Images)
"He's not kicked a ball for three and a half months and he's going to European Championship? He can't be right."
The former Manchester United and Republic of Ireland captain dismissively added: "I've heard a lot of people say they want him around the place. For what?
"Does he do card tricks? Does he have a sing-song? Does he do quizzes in the evening? What does he do?
"Liverpool won't be happy either. Surely Jordan doesn't want to be around the place being some sort of cheerleader, you want to play and clearly he's nowhere near it."
At his post-match press conference at the Riverside – after seeing Henderson play 45 minutes – Southgate was asked about Keane’s pre-match comments.
He said: “Well I think firstly we are not distracted by anything. “We know the situation Hendo is in, he’s been a very positive influence around the camp with the group.
Gareth Southgate springs England surprise with Trent Alexander-Arnold's Euro 2020 replacement
Roy Keane accuses Dominic Calvert-Lewin of "lacking maturity" after England decision
“It’s a step forward for him physically today which was important for him to be able to play some sort of part in the tournament and we are realistic about what that could be.
“It’s not a situation where it’s dividing the group or it’s unrealistic what’s possible.
“We’re not hanging our hat on him being fit and if we can get him to a good level then that’s a bonus. We’ve got 26 players which hasn’t been the case before.
“With the penalties we are very diligent in how we practise them. I didn’t expect what happened to happen and I wouldn’t expect that to happen again.”
Was Gareth Southgate right to include Jordan Henderson in his Euro 2020 squad? Comment below.
Southgate has named Ben White as Trent Alexander-Arnold's replacement in his final 26-man squad also.
The Liverpool defender was forced to pull out with a thigh injury after the 1-0 win over Austria last week – the game in which White made his Three Lions debut as a substitute.
Now, after an impressive 90 minutes against Romania on Sunday in his second game, the versatile Brighton defender has been selected for the finals ahead of James Ward-Prowse and Jesse Lingard.