Football: Hodgson's plea for peace talks

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The Independent Online
GLENN HODDLE, the England coach, was asked yesterday to give Chris Sutton a personal hearing - and an international recall - by the Blackburn Rovers manager, Roy Hodgson.

He is encouraging Sutton and Hoddle to settle differences caused by the striker's refusal to play in a B team fixture and has been heartened by Hoddle's hint this week that an apology would bring forgiveness.

"I'm pretty sure that if Chris Sutton sat down for half an hour in the company of Glenn Hoddle that they would be able to sort out any differences," he said. "Chris is anxious to get an England spot if one became available. I would regard Hoddle's statements as a positive gesture on his part. I will encourage Chris to meet him.

"If Glenn is opening the door for Chris then that is extremely good news and I would be happy if my player took that opportunity. Chris has real quality. In international football you could do with as many of those players as you get."

Hodgson appointed Sutton captain after leaving out Tim Sherwood, wanted by Spurs, and feels his striker is playing better than ever as he matures both on and off the park.

He said: "Chris Sutton has been outstanding in every respect, both as a professional and a performer."

Sutton will consider a reconciliation with Hoddle over the weekend but is expected to agree to a meeting as he has always maintained that he wants to play for his country. Hoddle said Sutton would never be in his team again, but to decline talks following his latest remarks would make the matter appear personal.

Hodgson confirmed that he was contacted by the German FA president, Egidius Braun, on Tuesday regarding their coaching vacancy.

"I think offered the job is too strong a word," he said, "but I was very flattered by an enquiry I received."

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