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Hodgson won't question patriotism of England youngsters

England coach Roy Hodgson won't question the patriotism of his players.

Former Arsenal and France star Patrick Vieira claimed English youngsters do not care about playing for their country.

But England boss Hodgson warmed up for tonight's near sell-out World Cup qualifier with San Marino at Wembley by insisting: "I haven't seen it.

"I can only judge what I see and it never occurred to me that English players aren't keen to play for their country.

"Certainly, since getting the job, I've not seen it.

"Even players with a lot of caps are very keen to play. I can't agree with that opinion.

"At club level the Champions League is very important, but my experiences with the team and with top players show that people are still very keen to marry the two together.

"They want to be succeeding with England and also succeed in the Champions League.

"It's up to us, the national team management, to be as wise as we can be.

"When we play Italy in a friendly, maybe it's wise for us sometimes - with Champions League games coming up - to give one or two a chance to rest. Give them that chance."

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Tribal Football Staff

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