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Euro 2016

Hodgson: Sturridge never refused to train

11:45 AM GMT+4 03/10/2014
Roy Hodgson | England manager
The Liverpool striker has not been included in the Three Lions squad to face San Marino and Estonia but the Three Lions boss has refuted claims he refused to practice

England manager Roy Hodgson insists Daniel Sturridge wanted to train when he was injured on international duty in September.

Hodgson and Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers have entered into a war of words in recent days, with Sturridge having been unavailable for the Premier League side since suffering a thigh injury during the international fixtures at the start of September.

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Rodgers had claimed that Sturridge trained against his wishes and should have been given a two-day break when he picked up the problem, and subsequently called on Hodgson to leave him out of his squad for the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers against San Marino and Estonia.

Hodgson did so, but has rejected assertions that Sturridge refused to train for the Three Lions.

“I don’t remember that,” Hodgson said. “That’s dangerous, that one. I don’t remember that at all. That’s interesting. We will check that up with other members of staff. I don’t have any memory of Daniel telling me that he didn’t want to train.

“He never asked [to be given 48 hours]. I’ve never been asked to give 48 hours to any player. If I am under pressure to give each player two days off between games we won’t train at all. If every time we give two days off, we will be down to 20 days’ training in the course of the next year and a half. For me that is unacceptable. We need to work with the players.

"The interesting thing for the session where Daniel got injured is that he was quite keen to take part because he was such an important part of it, and we were trying to develop a new system of play.

"He was the forward who understood it best. He was more than happy to come in and help us to get our points over.

"I understand Brendan being unhappy. We are never happy when we send a player back injured, but we do our best."

Hodgson has expressed his confidence that Sturridge will not feature for Liverpool against West Bromwich Albion this weekend but says that it would "be a matter for some discussion" were he to feature for his club side despite being kept out of the England picture.

Rodgers has also expressed concerns over the fitness of Raheem Sterling, but the Liverpool attacker has been selected in Hodgson's squad, with the former Reds manager defending his decision to call up the 19-year-old.

"I need to win games, just as he does. I need my best players," he said.

"He [Sterling] has played quite a lot but there must be six or seven who have played as many minutes.

"I do not expect managers to tell me whether players should be selected, no more than I would dream of telling them who to pick."