Reece James says he has learned from his mistakes after setting an unwanted piece of England history.
Chelsea starlet James became the first player to be sent off on his first start for England after seeing red against Denmark at Wembley last October.
James got his marching orders for dissent over a bust-up with referee Jesus Gil Manzano after the final whistle, and the versatile defender admits he cannot afford to let it happen again otherwise it will cost dear in a major tournament.
James said: “I learnt that European referees are a lot more strict, I thought it was very harsh to get sent off, I learnt my lesson and I know that I can’t afford to do anything like that again in this tournament because it will be very costly.
“I was very upset at the time because it was my first start, then I got sent off and that’s not the best look but, as you said, it was a mistake and in life mistakes happen and I had to learn from it.
“I think in the Premier League the rules and referees are a bit more lenient, but when you come away with international football the referees are a lot more strict.
“I didn’t really know that before I got sent off so it was a good lesson to learn because if I didn’t learn it then, then it could have happened in a major tournament like this.”
James enjoyed a hugely impressive season at Chelsea, finishing the campaign by winning the Champions League and also showing that he can play in various positions such as right back and on the right of a back three.
But it has also thrown up challenges as he had to work for his place under former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard and then start all over again to impress Thomas Tuchel.
James added: “When a new manager comes in and you’re not in the starting team straight away you have to accept the decision straight away, you have to accept the decision and work hard, try and prove to the manager that you should be playing and you’re definitely capable of playing.
“These moments come around quite often in football, things happen so fast and I didn’t really get advice off anyone, I just went into training, carried on working hard and when I got my opportunity I knew I had to take it.”
James has made a total of 84 appearances for Chelsea, while he has earned six caps for his country. Mirror
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