ANTONIO CONTE has slammed England manager Gareth Southgate over his treatment of Danny Drinkwater.
Danny Drinkwater did not represent England over the international break.
Southgate said that the former Leicester midfielder declined a call-up for the national team which were held to goalless draws to Germany and Brazil.
Drinkwater then came under heavy criticism for choosing not to represent his country while they were under a huge injury crisis in the midfield area.
But club boss Conte has jumped to his defence, instead insisting Southgate should have communicated with himself over the issue.
Conte managed the Italian national side for two years and claims that he understands Southgate’s issues and says he is willing to do more than most to help.
He was injured and also he wasn’t really 100 per cent fit to go with the national team.
Antonio Conte explains why Danny Drinkwater did not play for England.
“Sometimes there is a way, which is very easy, to try to call the coach before and to ask ‘is it ok, I can do this? Is this player good or does he have a problem? Is he tired or not?’ Conte said.
“I am telling you this because I was coach for the national team. In this way you can avoid a misunderstanding because about Drinkwater it was a misunderstanding.
“He was injured and also he wasn’t really 100 per cent fit to go with the national team.
“If someone asks me I can explain and if the coach wants to take the same decision it is ok, but it is important to have more relationship between the coach and the coach of the national team.
“It was the same for us with Eden Hazard (in late August when he was returning to fitness from a fractured ankle).
“Then I spoke with (Belgium coach) Roberto Martinez, I said yes and then he played.
“I am ready to help every single national team coach because I had this fantastic experience and I understand very well the problems.
“I am more open than before when I was the coach of Juventus but sometimes there isn’t the communication.”