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England manager dismisses ‘innocent remark’ to Spurs star

Hodgson wants to focus on future as England prepare for friendlies against Chile and Germany.

England manager Roy Hodgson says he wants to move on from the ‘innocent remark’ he made towards Andros Townsend at half-time during the World Cup qualifier against Poland.

Three Lions boss Hodgson was criticised for a joke refereeing to a monkey and an astronaut during the match last month, which was reported to have upset one England player. The joke was subsequently leaked to the media.

However, Spurs star Townsend jumped to Hodgson’s defence, saying the remark was a compliment, while other England players also dismissed any racial connotations.

Wins over Poland and Montenegro guided England to next summer’s World Cup in Brazil, and Hodgson is now determined to move on from the incident.

“I’m not happy it happened. It was an innocent remark that was totally misconstrued,” said Hodgson. “It’s difficult to really regret innocent remarks, but I apologised and as far as I’m concerned the episode is over and done with.

“I’m not prepared to even discuss it any more - it happened, it’s over.

“I’m pretty confident that everyone sees the episode for what it was, an innocent remark, totally misconstrued.

“I don’t think the players were too happy either because it should have been Steven Gerrard on the front page rejoicing. I don’t want the achievement of the players getting to the World Cup to be tarnished any more.”

images: © nicksarebi, © nicksarebi

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