I won't change, says England manager Roy Hodgson... but I may be more cautious following 'space monkey' row

England manager addresses furore that blew up over his 'space monkey' comment to Andros Townsend as he announces squad to face Chile and Germany

Roy Hodgson said that he was not going to change his outspoken style after the furore that blew up over his "space monkey" comment to Andros Townsend last month, claiming his words were "totally misconstrued".

The England manager was speaking for the first time about the episode for which he was forced to apologise after a member of his squad allegedly leaked the news that some players had been offended by Hodgson referring to Townsend as a "monkey" – part of a more involved joke he told at half-time of the World Cup qualifier against Poland.

Hodgson said that there had been no wrongdoing on his part and that there was nothing racist or untoward about the comment. His story concerned Nasa sending monkeys into space and while the England manager refused to get into the exact detail of what had been said in the changing room, he did say that it would be impossible for him to change his approach.

Hodgson has proven the most loquacious England manager since Kevin Keegan, happy to address virtually any topic and it was his willingness to embark on his infamous Nasa story at Wembley last month that proved costly. Of the experience, he said: "It should make me cautious but it's always going to be very difficult when it comes to innocent remarks that you cannot possibly imagine will be construed as they were.

"I would like to think it makes me aware of the need to be cautious. But whether or not you can always eliminate everything from your vocabulary is another matter." Later he added that it would be "very difficult to totally change your way of working, your way of being and your personality overnight."

He said: "To come from someone who has always approached the job as I have and even approached press conferences as I have, to become a taciturn, one-word answer person, I don't know how you do that. You would have to change your personality and character completely, so that is the gamut I suppose I will be running."

In front of the television cameras earlier in the afternoon, Hodgson said that "it was difficult to really regret innocent remarks" but that he had "apologised if such an innocent remark could have caused any offence". He said that he would not be launching an investigation into who leaked his remarks. "I trust the players," he said. "The atmosphere in the dressing room... is outstanding."

Asked whether it had been a "storm in a tea cup", Hodgson expressed concern that even that phrase might carry a hidden danger for him. "I am not even privy to say those things, because I upset people," he said. "You decided what the storms are, I will decide what the tea cups are I suppose. I think I will even stay away from that one."

Addressing a wide range of topics, Hodgson, said that he would back goalkeeper Joe Hart. He picked Jay Rodriguez of Southampton for the first time in an England squad, to face Chile and Germany this month, because he could play the same kind of role as Danny Welbeck who has been called up despite currently being out with an injury.

He also called up Jordan Henderson for the first time in 17 months, since Euro 2012. Adam Lallana is in an England squad for the second time, after he was a late replacement for the Ukraine qualifier last year. Hodgson had no concerns, he said, that Henderson may be susceptible to injury because of his running style, as rather controversially alleged by Sir Alex Ferguson.

"No, that's no relevance as far as I am concerned. People are entitled to opinions, and Alex has an opinion which he expressed. That's fine. Who is going to argue or discuss that or criticise that? But it's not something which affected my thinking and I would be very surprised if Alex expected it to."

Hodgson said that he considered Ashley Young's once-again burgeoning reputation for diving to be a "challenge" rather than a "problem" for the player. Once again there was no place in the squad for the Manchester United winger.

He added: "We like Ashley and what he can do because otherwise we wouldn't have selected him for the Euros and in squads afterwards. At the moment when I am selecting a squad it hasn't been easy to select him not least of all because he has played so few games. That doesn't mean to say the door has been slammed in his face.

"I would go as far to say this: in a game of football these days, in particular now more than ever, there are so many cameras and chances to analyse every situation in depth, Really and truly every time someone puts a microphone in front of you there is some burning topic to discuss... I would say really that the referees maybe should be given a bit more credit for the good job they do and not constantly highlighted for having missed an incident."

England squad

Age/Caps

F Forster (Celtic) 25/0

J Hart (Man City) 26/37

J Ruddy (Norwich) 27/1

L Baines (Everton) 28/21

G Cahill (Chelsea) 27/20

A Cole (Chelsea) 32/105

K Gibbs (Arsenal) 24/2

P Jagielka (Everton) 31/23

G Johnson (Liverpool) 29/48

P Jones (Man Utd) 21/8

C Smalling (Man Utd) 23/7

K Walker (Tottenham) 23/9

R Barkley (Everton) 19/1

M Carrick (Man Utd) 32/31

T Cleverley (Man Utd) 24/11

S Gerrard (Liverpool) 33/107

J Henderson (Liverpool) 23/5

A Lallana (Southampton) 25/0

F Lampard (Chelsea) 35/102

J Milner (Man City) 27/43

A Townsend (Tott'ham) 22/2

J Wilshere (Arsenal) 21/12

J Defoe (Tottenham) 31/54

R Lambert (So'ton) 31/3

J Rodriguez (So'ton) 24/0

W Rooney (Man Utd) 28/86

D Sturridge (Liverpool) 24/8

D Welbeck (Man Utd) 22/20

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee