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European Qualifiers Group E

Hodgson: No Wilshere problem

Roy Hodgson concedes it is 'unfortunate' that Jack Wilshere is not available for England, but denied reports of a problem with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.

Last Updated: 22/03/13 at 12:15 Post Comment

Jack Wilshere: Missing England's World Cup qualifiers due to injury

Jack Wilshere: Missing England's World Cup qualifiers due to injury

Wilshere has been ruled out of England's World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro due to an ankle injury, but there have been reports the midfielder could be fit for Arsenal's next game against Reading on Saturday 30th March.

It has led to suggestions of a row with Arsenal after Wenger had expressed surprise that Wilshere played the full 90 minutes during last month's friendly win over Brazil.

Hodgson, though, accepts there will always be conflict between club and country, and is confident England have the players to cope without Wilshere.

"He's injured and that's unfortunate," said the England coach. "But that is part and parcel of life as a football coach. I have no evidence (Arsenal picked an international break for a rest).

"We are disappointed he isn't with us because, on merit, he'd be picked and would play. But injuries occur.

"It would have been nice if he was here, but he isn't. We concentrate on those who are here and I think we've got a lot of very good players in midfield and we'll play with them.

"Club managers have got another job to do. That conflict is always going to be there, between club and national team, because people will want them to be there playing for them. But I don't have any criticisms of them.

"But I am really surprised at how keen the England players are. It's impossible to fault the attitude and willingness of this group to take anything on board that we're putting their way.

"When they come to play for England, they behave in exactly the way you'd want them to."

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