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Gareth Southgate has bemoaned the fact his plea for footballers to be vaccinated earlier this year fell on deaf ears.

The England boss is faced with the nightmare scenario of losing Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell for 10 days after their contact with Scotland midfielder Billy Gilmour last Friday, who subsequently tested positive for coronavirus.

Euro 2020 is being played at 11 different venues across Europe, so it has not been a total surprise to see a handful of players catch Covid-19.

But the news of Gilmour's positive test and the repercussions for England serve to vindicate Southgate's recommendation for footballers to receive vaccines in March.

Southgate called for footballers to jump the queue for vaccines in March

The 50-year-old pointed this out during a press conference on Monday, saying: "In terms of vaccinations, you need to go back to my suggestions in March around that, when I was fairly firmly shouted down for daring to suggest anything of the sort.

"I just made an observation that I thought given the tournament, given that we were asking professional sportspeople to go into these sorts of events and travel, and go back home to their families, that there would be a point where they were at greater risk of catching the virus than others.

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"But, look, that ship's sailed and, as I said, even if we had the vaccine – you know I'm old enough, I've had both vaccines now – I'm told you can still catch it, the different variants, it's just less dangerous.

"The reality is moving forward, I don't think we'll be in a situation where a positive test rules you out because I think we'll be living with it, like we've lived with flu.

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"But we’re not at that point and, of course, across the rest of Europe and the rest of the world the situation is different in terms of the numbers of people that are vaccinated and the dangers of it.

"So we have to accept we’re in the situation we are in and we’re abiding by all of the regulations and at the moment that’s why the two boys are having to isolate until we have more information and confirmation of where we stand."

Southgate faced some backlash for his suggestion to vaccinate footballers in March, despite the fact he emphasised key workers should come first and there would be benefits for the NHS.

He said: "I was not in any way suggesting they should have been ahead of key workers and teachers who should be ahead but we are getting close to the points where it could be acceptable and actually, football could afford to save the NHS money by buying the vaccines and administering them."