Johnson Happy with Hodgson

  • Last Updated: June 23 2012, 7:31 BST

Glen Johnson thas insisted he was "not worried one bit" when Roy Hodgson was appointed England manager, despite talk of a huge rift between the pair.

Glen Johnson: Happy with Roy Hodgson

Johnson reportedly had a major falling out with Hodgson while the latter was Liverpool boss, the 27-year-old said to have been furious at being accused of failing to perform like "the best right-back in the country".

The breakdown in their relationship was rumoured to be so bad that Johnson sought a move away before Hodgson was sacked after just six months in charge.

But Johnson refused to dwell on the past today as he looked to help Hodgson lead England into their first major semi-final for 16 years.

"I was pleased for Roy to get the job," Johnson said as he prepared for Sunday's European Championship clash with Italy.

"Whatever happened at Liverpool happened for a reason.

"Obviously, no-one can change that but it is done and dusted."

After being a favourite of Fabio Capello, Johnson could have been forgiven for fearing for his place as first-choice right-back under Hodgson.

But he said: "I did not feel I had to prove anything.

"Whatever happened at Liverpool happened.

"Roy picked me for his first squad so I didn't have to prove anything."

He added: "I spoke to Roy. We had a general chat, the same sort of chat he had with everyone else. There were never any problems."

Johnson was also reported to have decried Hodgson's brand of football "boring" during their alleged spat.

But he was full of praise for the defensive organisation the 64-year-old had brought to England, despite admitting his methods had not changed from his time at Anfield.

Johnson said: "It has benefited the whole team. Everyone is willing to work that touch harder.

"At this level, it is the inches that make the difference.

"We are defending from high up and that is a good way to send the team out."

It has been Johnson's own defending that has prompted criticism ever since he first burst on to the scene at West Ham.

"I have always been confident in how I defend," said Johnson, who was arguably at fault for Sweden's goals in England's 3-2 win last week but has been otherwise solid at Euro 2012.

"A few of the press and media have not been so much but I am not surprised by the way I have defended at all."

Johnson has been helped in protecting England's right flank by James Milner, who has been one of their hardest-working players at the tournament.

"To have a winger like that in front of you is good," Johnson said.

"You can work together, as he's willing to come back, and if you want to go forward and help him, you do it together.

"Whenever we've played together, it's worked well."

Theo Walcott, who came off the bench to rescue the Sweden game, is an altogether different proposition.

Johnson said: "I tend to give him the ball and stay out of his way. I give him as much room as I can.

"He has that explosive pace that I can just kick it to him and he'll go."

If Hodgson learned one lesson from Liverpool, it may have been the importance of a happy camp, something it is becoming increasingly apparent England may not have been under Capello.

Johnson said: "It is a bit more relaxed.

"That might be because there was less pressure as no-one thought we would do anything. No-one thought we would even get out of the group.

"We've always been confident. It was the fans and the press who weren't confident.

"We've always been close with each other and had belief in each other's ability.

"Now, in the knockout stage, it's a one-off game and anything can happen.

"As long as you're still in the tournament, you've got a chance of winning it."

Johnson could see how that might not have seemed possible when Hodgson was parachuted in barely a month before Euro 2012.

He said: "When we didn't have a manager and no-one knew what the squad was going to be, it was hard to imagine we'd do well at a tournament, but the players are still the same."