• World Cup

Hodgson: Cleverley doesn't deserve fans' flak

ESPN staff
March 4, 2014
Is England underachieving?

Roy Hodgson has leapt to the defence of under-fire Tom Cleverley by blasting the online petition calling for the Manchester United midfielder to be banned from going to the World Cup.

The petition accumulated 4,000 signatures within 24 hours of being posted online last week, and has since gone past 7,000.

Cleverley has been criticised for several under-par displays for United this season, with David Moyes' side languishing in seventh in the Premier League table.

Hodgson said: "That petition doesn't impress me. Tom Cleverley has played some very good games for England, he's been a very useful member of our group.

"I don't think it's correct that people should single out one player for Manchester United's lack of success this season.

"I'm not going to have the England team selected in the future by petitions from people holding it against one person.

"I'm disappointed that Tom, as a sensitive young man, has got to bear that burden, but I know he will come through it and when he does come through it and Manchester United start winning again, and he's starting to get praise for his performances, he'll be stronger for it."

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