Bayern Munich deny being critical of new England manager Roy Hodgson


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The Independent Football

Bayern Munich have rejected claims they have been disparaging towards new England boss Roy Hodgson and insisted they hold the 64-year-old in the highest regard.

At their Champions League media day yesterday, Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes questioned whether either the German Federation or any Bundesliga outfit would embark on a protracted selection procedure as the one that came to an end with Hodgson's appointment.

It was also suggested Heynckes was surprised Hodgson was handed the role ahead of overwhelming favourite Harry Redknapp, while influential midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger claimed not to know the West Brom manager.

It seemed a rather dismissive attitude towards Hodgson, a member of a recent UEFA technical study group that also included Pep Guardiola, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.

And Bayern have been in touch with the Football Association today to assure them they do not have the attitude towards Hodgson they have been accused of.

"We are surprised by the reports relating to Roy Hodgson in the English media and would like to clarify the situation," said a Bayern statement.

"We have a high regard for Mr Hodgson and, like our sporting federation the DFB, would like to congratulate him on his appointment as England manager.

"As a coach and manager Mr Hodgson is of course very well known in Germany and it should be made clear they have nothing but respect for Mr Hodgson and his record.

"In no way did they or anyone at Bayern Munich question, or criticise his appointment."

Heynckes had been quoted as saying by The Sun: "No, I cannot imagine that this delay would happen in Germany."

Heynckes was also quoted as saying of Hodgson: "I don't know him well. But I've followed the discussions and also heard the opinions of the national team players and they would have preferred the Tottenham manager."