LONDON: England manager Roy Hodgson, on the eve of flying out to Brazil for the World Cup finals draw, said he had no regrets about having played striker Daniel Sturridge for the entirety of the friendly against Germany last month.

Sturridge, who had been in outstanding form in the Premier League this season, started the subsequent Merseyside derby on the subs’ bench because Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers considered the player was barely unfit after his England run-out.

Rodgers said after the 3-3 draw: “Anyone who saw the game could tell he was not fit. Because he played 90 minutes, he couldn’t train because he has to recover.”

Sturridge reported for England duty that week with a thigh injury and, even though he was left out of the team to face Chile, the striker played 90 minutes against the Germans.

The weekend before the clash against Joachim Low’s side, Sturridge admitted he was carrying the injury, but declared that he wanted to play at Wembley.

Given that Hodgson has had such little time to have a look at Sturridge within the England fold because of previous injuries, he was desperate to start the player against Germany.


The 66-year-old, who used to manage Liverpool, was therefore unrepentant over his actions, declaring that he had to field the player in order to test his desire to play for his country.

The England manager said: “Dan has pulled out of a few matches with us for injury reason. The first game he played (against Ireland) he got injured. It was important for me to, if you like, test his resolve a little bit.

“I suppose you could argue we did put his resolve a little bit to the test. I might have been guilty of putting that resolve to the test, but I don’t apologise for it.

“]I am delighted he did get out there, even though he maybe himself didn’t feel 100 per cent because that means in future I will know I can trust him as an England player and he is not going to be playing when he feels like it – he is going to be playing when he’s fit to play.”

Hodgson said England had gone through all the correct procedures in the run-up to the game against Germany and Sturridge’s thigh problem was not severe enough to sideline him.