Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has urged James Maddison, Hamza Choudhury and Ayoze Perez to do their apologising on the pitch after the trio were dropped from the squad for breaking COVID-19 rules.
The three players, alongside injured winger Harvey Barnes, were all found to have broken rules by attending a party held by Perez in the build-up to the recent 3-2 defeat to West Ham, for which the three fit players were all dropped.
Maddison, Choudhury and Perez have all been welcomed back into the squad for Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Southampton, and Rodgers challenged the three players to prove their commitment to the club by shining on the pitch.
"These guys have made a great contribution for us, we are also in the position we are because of them," Rodgers said (via Sky Sports News). "They made a mistake and in football there will be a choice again, at some point in their careers, and hopefully they'll make a better choice.
"We always have to look forward and it's in the past. The best way they can do that as a player is by their actions on the field.
"It's a really exciting period and they come in and are available. They know for the rest of the season they have to have that level of focus and commitment to achieve what it is we want to.
"We dealt with it last week when they trained separately and they understood the consequences. We had a meeting at the beginning of the week and we accept their apologies. They were sincere and knew they'd made a mistake. The team is based on pride and behavioural expectations and they fell below that."
Of the three players. it's Maddison's absence which was felt most. With 11 goals and ten assists in all competitions, the playmaker is in contention for a spot in Gareth Southgate's England squad for this summer's European Championship.
"I don't know," said Rodgers when asked about Maddison's chances of a call-up. "I'm not picking the England squad, I only look at Leicester and just concerned really with what we do here at Leicester.
"I don't speak to him on England, to be honest. He was very remorseful. I've always said I've loved working with him. He's a young player that has made a mistake. He was man enough to hold his hand up, he wasn't hiding from it, he was bitterly disappointed at himself and letting his team-mates down."
Source : 90min