Hodgson annoyed by ‘drop Cleverley’ petition

By AFP, London

England manager Roy Hodgson has spoken out against a petition signed by 10,000 people calling for him to drop Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley from his squad.
Cleverley, 24, has been the target of criticism over his performances for United this season, but he remains a mainstay of the England squad and has been selected for their friendly against Denmark later on Wednesday.
His most recent call-up prompted one fan to create an online petition calling for the 24-year-old to be "banned" for the World Cup, asserting that the central midfielder does not possess "any genuine qualities".
However, Hodgson, who has awarded Cleverley 13 caps, feels the criticism is unhelpful and misguided.
"That petition does not impress me, I must admit," Hodgson said.
"I'm disappointed that Tom, as a sensitive young man, has got to bear that burden, but I know one thing-he will come through it and when he does come through it and Manchester United start winning again, and he's starting to get praise for his performances, he'll be stronger for it."