- World Cup
Players told to put transfers on hold
Roy Hodgson has warned his England World Cup players that he will not "show any sympathy" if they are distracted by potential summer moves at club level.
Southampton pair Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw, tipped to get the nod over Ashley Cole as Leighton Baines' understudy in Brazil, have been linked with moves to Liverpool and Manchester United respectively.
But Hodgson is demanding total focus on England from his 23 players from when they fly to Portugal on May 19 for their training camp.
City ignore England request
- Roy Hodgson admits he is powerless to stop Manchester City taking their England players, including Joe Hart and James Milner, on a post-season trip to the Middle East.
- Manager Manuel Pellegrini has promised not to select the players for an exhibition game against Al Ain, but Hodgson would prefer the duo did not to make the 16-hour round trip at all.
- "I sent out a letter on FA paper to the clubs, giving them our programme and asking them to be aware that my intention was that, from the last game of the season, the players should be totally free until we meet up - to get a break from football," Hodgson said.
- "That's what we would like. But the bottom line is that we have no control over it. I've done what I can do. I'm an England manager and I've said to the clubs that, as England manager, I think it best that they have a week away from football at the end of the season, to relax and clear their minds so that from May 19 they can settle down and put a lot of thought and a lot of focus and physicality into trying to win the World Cup.
- "But if the clubs say they're not interested in that and want to do something else, then there's nothing I can do about it."
- Liverpool have also scheduled a post-season friendly against Shamrock Rovers in Dublin on May 14, but they have said that no England players in Hodgson's squad will take part in the game
"There is a great mood of positivity amongst the general public not just for the younger players but the team," Hodgson said. "We have got a responsibility to feed off that positivity, feed off that enthusiasm and how can a player feed off the positivity if he is more concerned about his club future?
"The players will have to accept I'm not going to show any sympathy for that side of it. As far as I am concerned they are signing up for England."
Hodgson also offered some advice for players who are set to switch clubs in the transfer window. He said: "You can either tell [your agent], 'I want to go here, so get it sorted out' or if you're not prepared to do that, because there are too many options, say to him 'you go away, you sort the options out and when you have got something to put on the table you come back to me because, at the moment, I'm working for England and that's where my head is because it can't afford not to be'."
Although the FA was keen to point out that Hodgson was not talking about Shaw alone, the original question was specifically about the left-back.
Hodgson added: "I saw [Southampton's head of football development] Les Reed on TV the other day saying no Southampton player is going anywhere. I suppose I could feed off that but it doesn't really bother me if a Southampton player is going to move.''
Meanwhile, Hodgson did have some positive news for Cole, who has only played five times since January 26, emphasising that he is judging players over the course of the entire season.
"The fact that he had not played won't affect me that much," he said. "It does to some extent because that is a long time to be out and in the shadows. I have never doubted Ashley and I have never thought that I couldn't pick him because he hasn't played the last 18 games.
"Two months ago, if you'd have said 'Raheem Sterling', some would have looked at you and said 'Are you crazy? It's Ross Barkley, he's the man, or Lallana or Rodriguez or somebody else.' Wilfried Zaha was getting enormous. We even gave him a game for a few minutes because this lad was flying. This was going to be the best England player. Unfortunately because he is young he has hit a bad patch and you don't hear quite so much about him.
"I am going to be very conscious when I pick the squad that if I am going to pick them it's because they have a permanent class and a permanent future and it's not because they happen to be having a wonder spell.
"With Raheem, he has done it over a period of time, but there have been moments where it has been a little bit up and down. At the moment he is up there. Let's hope he can stay there."