Chester boss Anthony Johnson believes questions must be asked about the unity among England's squad following the bust-up between Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez.

England coach Gareth Southgate dropped Sterling for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifying match with Montenegro after the altercation between the Manchester City star and Liverpool defender Gomez.

Details of the clash, which came just two days after Liverpool's 3-1 victory over City at Anfield, were initially leaked to the media shortly before England made an official statement.

Asked for his view of the incident, Johnson said: “What’s most disappointing is that this story came out in the way it did.

“As a manager you’d want to deal with the matter yourself, but the fact this story got leaked would make you look around the camp and question how it ever got out.

"Incidents like this that happen in private or on the training ground should be dealt with by the manager and his staff there and then.

“These things happen in football all the time, but I think there are right and wrong ways to deal with it when players fall out.

“It’s like anything in life - you want relationships to be harmonious but there are always bumps in the road.

“It seems to me like the manager has flexed a bit of muscle and made the decision to leave Sterling out.

“You’ve obviously got to the look at the context of the incident as well, where two of the best teams in Europe have played each other a couple of days before and there’s still some strong emotions carried over from the game.”

Though critical of the decision to drop Sterling for the Montenegro clash, Johnson also hit out at the media's treatment of England's top players.

Last season, Sterling himself accused sections of the sports media of 'fuelling racism' with its negative coverage of black players.

But Johnson asserts there is a wider problem within the British press who, he claims, have unfairly hounded the nation's star players in the past.

“Sterling’s a winner and it looks as though he’s reacted badly to what’s gone on", said Johnson.

"But it’s a sad state of affairs when one of the best players in the country has been treated like that, not just by his manager but by the press as well.

“People in the media are always looking for these stories and blow them out of proportion.

“It's like they're trying to take that edge away from players like Sterling, just like they have done in the past with players like Gerrard, Rooney and Gascoigne.”