Death threats won’t affect Vardy: Southgate

Dortmund (Germany) (AFP) – England manager Gareth Southgate says the death threats Jamie Vardy received in the wake of Claudio Ranieri’s sacking will not affect the striker in Wednesday’s friendly away to Germany.

In the international’s build-up, Vardy revealed his alleged role in getting Ranieri sacked at Leicester City has earned him death threats.  

Vardy’s goals last season helped Leicester to the Premier League title under Ranieri and catapulted the 30-year-old into the England team.

But the Leicester star went public while in the England camp about the death threats he received on Twitter, which were directed at both him and his family.

Southgate says Vardy has his full support, but is convinced the striker will focus on his job of scoring goals against world champions Germany in Dortmund.

Vardy’s vigour and form have returned since Craig Shakespeare replaced Ranieri and Southgate forsees no problems on the pitch for the Three Lions.

“I can understand why he (Vardy) wanted to discuss it, it’s obviously a very serious subject and we are very supportive of him,” said Southgate.

“I know the club (Leicester) and the authorities are well aware of what is going on now as well, which is the most important thing.

“But there will be no problem with his focus for the game, as we have seen with his performances over the last few weeks.”

When the nations last met in March 2016, Vardy came off the bench to net a second-half goal as England came from two goals down to beat Germany 3-2 in Berlin.

Southgate also said Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling missed England’s training session on Tuesday and is a doubtful to face the Germans.

The away match against Germany is followed on Sunday by a 2018 World Cup qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley.

“He (Sterling) has had a busy workload recently, so I’ve got to balance what is right for Wednesday and what is right for Sunday, so we’ll keep monitoring that,” added Southgate.

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