Roy Hodgson wants to hold clear the air talks with Brendan Rodgers after the pair’s conflict took another twist yesterday.
Hodgson and Rodgers have endured a strained relationship ever since the Liverpool manager accused the England boss of exacerbating Daniel Sturridge’s thigh injury by mis-handling the striker’s recovery from September’s international against Norway.
The pair clashed again last month over another Liverpool star — Raheem Sterling.
Rodgers was annoyed with Hodgson for going public with the fact that Sterling asked to “sit out” England’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Estonia.
“He (Sterling) said, ‘I’m feeling tired, I’d rather sit this one out’,” Hodgson said after the 1-0 win in Tallinn.
Rodgers hit back shortly after, denying Sterling had said such a thing.
The saga took another bizarre turn yesterday when Hodgson denied ever saying that Sterling had told him he did not want to take part in the game in Tallinn.
“I never said that Raheem said he was too tired to play,” Hodgson, who yesterday called Saido Berahino up for the upcoming games against Slovenia and Scotland, said.
“I said he said he was too tired before training and as a result I left him out of the team.”
Regardless of what Hodgson did actually say, he was unhappy to hear Rodgers’ version.
“In actual fact, Brendan is wrong to do that,” Hodgson added. “Unfortunately I have 30 witnesses to thatextent and Brendan was not there.
“If that is all it is, he got the wrong end of the stick and I would be happy to put him right and I would be happy to talk to him about it.”
Hodgson insisted he enjoyed a “fine” relationship with Rodgers, but it is understood the Liverpool manager has not picked up the phone to speak to Hodgson despite several attempts by the England boss.
The pair have exchanged texts, but Rodgers again did not return Hodgson’s call when he rang him on Wednesday night to inform the Liverpool manager he had left Sturridge out of his squad for the upcoming double-header against Slovenia and Scotland to help him recover from injury.
The whole saga is a bit of a mess, particularly when Liverpool supply so many players to the national team these days.
The person Hodgson feels sorry for most is Sterling, who was criticised following the Estonia match.
“I feel very, very sad about that, about the way it blew up,” Hodgson said. “But as far as I’m concerned it’s passed. Raheem and I are fine.”
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