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England coach Hodgson confident no rift with Liverpool fullback Johnson

England coach Roy Hodgson is confident there's no rift with Liverpool fullback Glen Johnson.

Johnson was scathing about Hodgson's "boring" tactics after being rebuked by the then-Anfield boss, and the peace deal the pair subsequently brokered was fragile at best.

But with Kyle Walker ruled out by a broken toe, Chris Smalling also injured and Micah Richards overlooked, Johnson was handed his opportunity and Hodgson took the chance to effectively apologise for his poor choice of words.

The new England manager said: "It all related to a question I answered unwisely by answering honestly, which gave the appropriate headline.

"The question, quite simply, was: 'Do you think Glen Johnson is playing for you at the moment like an England international?' I said he didn't because he wasn't playing that well.

"As a result, Glen was a bit upset that I hadn't protected him more than I'd done. I paid the price for that honest answer, but I don't think that's affected my relationship with Glen.

"I certainly hope it hasn't.

"He was very friendly when we [West Brom] played up at Liverpool recently. We greeted each other very warmly.

"I'm hoping that, when he plays for England, the last thing on his mind is a headline in the newspapers from two years previously, when he knows quite well that, on a daily basis, our working relationship was as good as it could possibly be."

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Tribal Football Staff

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