Gareth South Gate supported Uterine Sterling to survive the nightmare season – after leaving him out of his final season England Crew.

Chelsea striker will miss Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia next month.

Southgate spoke to Sterling, 28, who struggles with hamstring problems, last week and admitted that he has not reached the top of his form.

But despite his negligence, Southgate expects one of its star players to rediscover his spark.

“I will always support him so that he responds strongly and has the resilience and perseverance to prove himself,” she said.

“He said he wasn’t happy with the way things were going but that it would be a temporary thing.

“It wasn’t really taken into account. We haven’t gotten to the point of whether it should be inside or outside. He doesn’t think he’s working at the level he needs.

“He’s an important part of our group and that remains the same. But he’s in a region where the players play well for their club and play well when they play for us.

“The dynamic is maybe different from two to three years ago. We had four or five players who were almost guaranteed to be on the team. Now we have competition almost everywhere.

But he has proven over and over again that he is an important player for us. His mental stamina stands out for why I expect him to get a good level.

Sterling has struggled for form and fitness since a £47.5m transfer from Manchester City last summer.

He scored nine goals in 37 appearances during Chelsea’s chaotic season since April, when they have temporarily sacked Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter.

He has shown us time and time again that he is an important player. His mental toughness stands out as why I expect him to get to a good level.

Gareth Southgate at Raheem Sterling

They will head to Manchester United on Thursday and host Newcastle in the final game of the season on Sunday. Chelsea to finish Premier League in lower half despite owner Todd Boehly spent about 600 million pounds.

“I found him[Sterling]positive, strong and insightful about what’s going on. This year has been tough for everybody with all the changes. “Three different managers, three different ways of training, three different ways of playing,” said Southgate.

“There has been a lot of confusion. Clubs have such moments. There were a few clubs that weren’t where they wanted to be this year.

“Next year it’s going to be even more intense. They’re not going to play European football, so they’re going to play one game a week. I think they’re going to be really strong next season and it’s definitely going to be a big part of it.

“I don’t see a scenario where Chelsea won’t be in the top six next year. It’s been really tough for all the managers this year, but they’re going to calm down over this summer and they have an outstanding squad. They’re going to have a good season and he’s going to be the foundation for that.”

Meanwhile, Southgate is hopeful that Jude Bellingham will be ready for the North Macedonia match on 16 June in Malta and 19 June in Manchester.

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder missed Sunday’s 3-0 win at Augsburg with a knee problem in a 5-2 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach and is in doubt for Saturday’s final game against Mainz.

At the top of the Bundesliga, Dortmund are two points ahead of Bayern Munich to claim their first title since 2012.

Southgate added: “He will do everything he can to be available this weekend. We don’t know yet if he will win that race but I would think there was enough time for our games but we don’t know for sure.”