Hodgson not searching for leak

Roy Hodgson says he will not try to find out who leaked the details of his half-time team talk against Poland.

Last Updated: 08/11/13 at 06:01 Post Comment

Roy Hodgson: Drawn a line under half-time team talk saga

Roy Hodgson: Drawn a line under half-time team talk saga

England manager Roy Hodgson will not try to find out who leaked the details of his controversial half-time team talk.

England sealed qualification for the World Cup last month with a 2-0 win over Poland, but their achievement was overshadowed by Hodgson's half-time team talk.

The England manager told a joke to illustrate why his players should give the ball to winger Andros Townsend but was forced to apologise after claims it was racist.

The reporter who wrote the story claimed his source was a player inside the England dressing room.

Hodgson has his doubts over that claim but he wants to move on from the matter and will therefore not instigate an investigation in to how the story came to light.

When asked whether a code exists whereby what is said in the dressing room stays there, Hodgson said: "Everyone knows that, but I only have it on the word of the person who wrote it that it came from the dressing room.

"I'm not prepared to discuss it. I'm not prepared to investigate it and as far as I'm concerned, it's over. It's finished. I'm not interested anymore.

"I wouldn't dream of trying to find out. I'm happy that I don't know."

Hodgson insisted following the controversy that his comments were not racist, and Townsend said he had no issue with the England manager over the matter.

The former Fulham coach does not feel the need to discuss the matter with his 28-man squad when they meet up at St George's Park on Tuesday, therefore.

The England boss insists there will be no divisions in the ranks in the upcoming friendlies against Chile and Germany.

"There is certainly no question in my mind about unity and about our spirit," the England manager said.

"No-one has yet proved to me that it came from the dressing room.

"I am disappointed about (the story coming out), of course, but it is over as far as I am concerned.

"My thoughts are purely on these two matches and the World Cup matches ahead."

Hodgson sprang two big surprises by naming uncapped Southampton duo Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana for the Wembley double-header.

Rodriguez has scored four times for Saints this term while his 25-year-old team-mate Lallana has been in good form for the south coast club, who are flying high in the Barclays Premier League.

Hodgson was full of praise for the latest two players to roll off the famed production line at the Saints Academy, which has spawned the likes of Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gareth Bale over the past few years.

"Southampton at the moment are becoming a very good club as far as England are concerned in terms of providing players," Hodgson added.

"We like what we see there and this was a great opportunity.

"Now is the right time to introduce them and I hope they will be happy to be selected. If they get a chance to show what they can do, I know they won't let their country down."

Hodgson has just three matches left before he names his provisional 30-man squad for the World Cup and the message from the England manager was a clear one today - there are still plenty of places in his World Cup squad that are up for grabs.

Hodgson plans to start Everton's teenage midfielder Ross Barkley against Chile a week on Friday.

The likes of Said Berahino, Ravel Morrison and James Ward-Prowse miss out on the November friendlies, but still have a chance of being promoted from the Under-21s in time for the trip to Brazil.

"There are more young players who might force their way into my attention during the next four or five months," Hodgson added.

"We're only 10 games into the season and by the time I pick a squad 38 games will have been played, plus cup games and Champions League.

"Berahino has been doing very well for the Under-21s.

"The Under-21s are playing extremely well and quite a few of their players, their names could be (promoted).

"At the moment I feel Saido is not better than Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney, and then Jermain Defoe and Ricky Lambert.

"I would prefer him to play for the Under-21s, where we keep an eye on him, and - who knows? - next summer, he might have forced his way into the team.

"It will be a question of looking at Ross Barkley, but (also) certainly looking at Morrison, Ward-Prowse and (Chelsea's) Nathaniel Chalobah who are pretty well advanced.

"I'd like to keep my options open for that eventual group of players I take to Brazil and consider more than just Ross Barkley."

The England medical team will assess injuries to Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck before deciding whether they will join up with the squad on Tuesday.


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