World Cup 2014: Glen Johnson says Luis Suarez has told him that he WILL be fit to face England

The Liverpool striker faces a battle to be ready after knee surgery

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The Independent Football

England defender Glen Johnson has bad news for his country: his Liverpool team-mate and Uruguay striker Luis Suarez has told him he expects to be fit for their World Cup match.

Suarez is doubtful for the Group D match on 19 June after undergoing knee surgery last Thursday.

But Johnson said he spoke with Suarez earlier this week and the striker did not seem worried. Johnson, who has been included in England's squad for the World Cup, said Suarez "doesn't think that it is that bad so he thinks he will be OK."

Suarez scored a Premier League-leading 31 goals for Liverpool this season and was voted player of the year in England by the players' association.

At 29, Johnson is one of the older players in the England squad, and says that while he might not feel like one of the older heads, he has taken on responsibility to look out for the younger players in Brazil.

Johnson is just one of four players boasting 50 or more caps, along with Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney.

"When you say it like that, I guess I am one of the older faces around but I don't feel like that," Johnson said. "I feel good and I am naturally fit.

"I think it is important to have the older heads with the experience and some of the fearless lads who don't know what they are stepping into.

Glen Johnson (right) and Luis Suarez celebrate for Liverpool

"Sometimes it can be a good thing or a bad thing but I am sure the lads will be confident. We have got some great players around the squad and I am sure they can do well."

Johnson has more than twice as many caps as England's next most experienced defender, Phil Jagielka, and heads into his third major international tournament as manager Hodgson's only recognised right-back.

Phil Jones and Chris Smalling could slot in there but Kyle Walker's injury means former West Ham, Chelsea and Portsmouth man Johnson's starting berth is all but guaranteed.


"Through the Premier League season, you just try to stay fit and stay in and around the squads as I have done," Johnson said.

"I am probably the only natural right-back but there are plenty of players who can step in and I will keep trying to do my job as always."