Johnson and Roy clear the air

Hodgson publicly criticised Johnson’s form this season claiming the

full-back had yet to show why he was England’s first-choice at

right-back. The pair have played down the row and Johnson marked

his return from injury on Saturday with a goal and a

man-of-the-match display in the 3-0 victory over his former club

West Ham. Johnson has spoken to Hodgson about his comments and he

admits he has yet to find his best form so far this campaign.

“Believe me, no-one wants me to find my best form more than me, and

I was aware of what I had to do,” admitted Johnson. “It was a

little reminder from the boss, he told me that was what he meant by

it. “We spoke, and he explained he wanted it to help me, to push me

and I said to him then, I don’t need people to tell me, I know

where I’m at in terms of form, and I knew it all already. “The

gaffer told me he has faith in my ability, we spoke and we cleared

things up. Sometimes comments like that can be made to look more

negative than they are meant. “The boss explained that he didn’t

mean it in a negative way, just that he knew I had more to offer

than I was showing, and wanted to get that from me.” Johnson had

missed six of Liverpool’s previous seven games prior to the West

Ham encounter with a number of niggling injuries and he concedes

they have affected his form. “No player wants to be injured, and it

has been frustrating to me, to be out for so long,” added Johnson.

“But that was more like it for me on Saturday. I think it has been

a difficult season for me, but it has been a difficult season for a

lot of teams and a lot of players. You just have to keep doing what

you’ve done in the past, and try to reignite some of that form.

“The last seven games I haven’t played, and it is impossible to

improve your form if you are not out there, so it’s been extra

frustrating for me. “I had some niggling injuries at the start of

the season, and when you don’t have that consistency it can affect

your form. I’m not making excuses, but sometimes it is difficult.”