Brighton’s Levi Colwill backs under-fire England stars

Levi Colwill believes Albion players will close ranks and help him if he goes through any testing periods this season.

The defender, on loan from Chelsea, has backed England’s senior stars who have come under fire.

And he has said solidarity in the dressing room is key when times get tough.

Colwill is set to play for England Under-21s against Germany at Bramall Lane tonight.

A 3-3 draw in the relevant game last night mitigated some, but only some, of the criticism the seniors are facing.

Colwill said: “There’s a line, but people will always criticize anything you do in life.

“People outside the bubble don’t understand how much it can affect players. You can’t bite back, you gotta let your football do the talking.

“I had a good year last year – the only stick I got was from Forest fans after the play-off final – but any player in Brighton, I go to them with everything.

“They all took care of me and gave me so much advice. Everyone has helped me so much.”

Colwill seemed to suggest that those who hadn’t played at a high level were struggling to understand the challenges faced by elite players in the spotlight.

He said: “If you’re not a footballer and you’re not doing what we do every day, you shouldn’t be giving a stick. People comment on your life, on and off the pitch, when they’re not living it. When in the bubble, focus on yourself and the team.

“It’s too easy to say just to slur it because you answer your phone, turn on the radio – you hear everything. But you have to try not to let them take away your trust. They make you feel like you’re competing against the world.

“The senior team will all be supporting each other, which is great. They will be fine for the World Cup.

“For me, what people say is not going to affect me. It could be in the future, but right now it won’t. You are not me, who are you to comment on how I play or how I am?

“The only people who can really tell me that are my family and my coaches. If you can’t influence my life, why should I listen?”

Carl Rushworth, the Albion goalkeeper on loan to Lincoln, has been called up to the England U21 squad for tonight’s game. Brighton’s Levi Colwill backs under-fire England stars

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