The Litmanen Story
Roy Hodgson has taken out some time to explain the situation with Jari Litmanen and the reasons for bringing him on board.
Jari Litmanen will soon be back in contention for a First Team spot and despite a lack of match action Roy Hodgson is confident the Finnish playmaker would justify his selection if called upon.
'Arguably, he`s physically fit to play now but he`s been resting', Hodgson explained. 'He did a light training session on Thursday and Friday. If we were down to ten players then there`s no question he`d play and I have no doubt he would play the 90 minutes and be running as much at the end as in the beginning.
'Of course, we`re not in that situation, so we don`t take that risk. We want to give him a full week`s training before we even consider him.'
'When the opportunity to sign Jari Litmanen came up it seemed like an opportunity too good to miss. He was a free agent and his wage demands were unbelievably reasonable. It was one of those bonuses that sometimes come your way that you`d be foolish not to take advantage of. How much of a part he plays depends on how the other players perform.
'He`s very confident. His confidence can be expressed in I said somewhat jokingly in training that he should train with the attackers because Kelly and I were going to work with the defenders. He reminded me in a Champions League game against Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabeu he played at centre back and his team won on-nil. He`s got no shortage of confidence and he has every right - he`s a very gifted football player.'