England

Ferguson hits back at Hodgson claim

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and Roy Hodgson, then coach of West Brom.
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Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has responded to Roy Hodgson's fears about international breaks being used as a way of giving players a rest.

England boss Hodgson believes the lucrative nature of club football means teams no longer want to risk sending players to represent their countries, but Ferguson has defended the clubs' stance as well as questioning the scheduling of international friendlies.

Ferguson said: "Look at the opposite side. International football interferes with the clubs' ambitions.

"Friendly games for a start. They have been doing it for the last decade, playing a friendly in the week before the season starts. Tell me the sense of that.

"It doesn't matter what way you look at it. Club managers are always in disagreement with international football, particularly in friendly situations.

"I have no issues at all about the competitive part. The players should always be available for the European Championship and the World Cup.

"But you can't tell me that should apply itself in friendly games."

QPR manager Harry Redknapp feels Hodgson does not have much of a case to argue when it comes to clubs resting players.

"I don't know what Roy is saying there," he said. "International friendlies are quite often meaningless games.

"Roy's been a club manager and I'm sure when there was a break he was only too pleased to have a day or two's rest to give the players a rest or take them away to train.

"Roy's entitled to his opinion, but most clubs take the chance to get away and have a change of environment."

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