Hodgson dismayed by City trip

Blackpool Citizen: Joe Hart, left, and James Milner, right, will travel to the United Arab Emirates with Manchester CIty Joe Hart, left, and James Milner, right, will travel to the United Arab Emirates with Manchester CIty

Roy Hodgson admits he is powerless to stop Manchester City taking their England players on a post-season trip to the United Arab Emirates.

Hodgson wants his England squad to have a full week off after the end of the season, but the likes of Joe Hart and James Milner will travel to the UAE for an 'exhibition match' between City and Al Ain four days after the club's final game of the campaign.

Hart and Milner - both of whom are expected to be in Hodgson's World Cup squad - will definitely travel with the City squad, but manager Manuel Pellegrini has promised not to select the players for the game.

Hodgson would prefer the duo did not to make the 16-hour round trip at all.

The England boss wrote to every Premier League club asking them to keep their players free from May 12-19, but City have not agreed to the 66-year-old's request.

"I sent out a letter on FA paper to the clubs, giving them our programme and asking them to be aware that my intention was that, from the last game of the season, the players should be totally free until we meet up - to get a break from football," Hodgson said.

"That's what we would like. But the bottom line is that we have no control over it.

"I've done what I can do. I'm an England manager and I've said to the clubs that, as England manager, I think it best that they have a week away from football at the end of the season, to relax and clear their minds so that from May 19 they can settle down and put a lot of thought and a lot of focus and physicality into trying to win the World Cup.

"But if the clubs say "we're not interested in that, we want to do something else", then there's nothing I can do about it."

City insist the trip to the country where the club's owner Sheikh Mansour hails from, will be like a holiday for the players.

The squad will travel first class to the UAE, they will relax by the beach and play the odd round of golf.

Liverpool have also scheduled a post-season friendly against Shamrock Rovers in Dublin, but they have promised that no England players in Hodgson's squad will take part in the game, which is taking place at the Aviva Stadium on May 14.

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