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Hodgson appeals for England players to rest

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Saturday, May 03, 2014

LONDON - England coach Roy Hodgson has urged Premier League clubs not to use World Cup squad members in postseason friendlies to ensure they are rested and their minds are clear for Brazil.

Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City heads to the United Arab Emirates to play Al Ain on May 15, three days after Hodgson names the 23-man World Cup squad, with England goalkeeper Joe Hart and midfielder James Milner in line for the trip.

"I sent out a letter on FA paper to the clubs, giving them our program 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."

With key squad members involved in a tense finale to the Premier League title race at Liverpool, Chelsea and City, Hodgson wants the players to "relax and clear their minds" before linking up with the squad.

"If the clubs say, 'We're not interested in that, we want to do something else,' then there's nothing I can do about it," Hodgson said at a briefing.

"I don't have the right or the authority to tell clubs what to do at the end of the season.

"What authority I do have is to keep the players from May 19 because the FIFA regulations say so."

After that point, Hodgson wants his players focused on Brazil and not negotiating any transfers.

Southampton duo Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana have been linked with lucrative moves to bigger Premier League sides.

"The players will have to accept I am not going to show any sympathy for that side of it," Hodgson said.


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