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By ESPN Staff

Bayern: No Hodgson criticism

Bayern Munich have rejected claims they have been disparaging towards new England boss Roy Hodgson and insisted they hold the 64-year-old in the highest regard.

At their Champions League media day on Thursday, Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes questioned whether either the German Federation or any Bundesliga outfit would embark on a protracted selection procedure as the one that came to an end with Hodgson's appointment.

It was also suggested Heynckes was surprised Hodgson was handed the role ahead of overwhelming favourite Harry Redknapp, while influential midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger claimed not to know the West Brom manager.

It seemed a rather dismissive attitude towards Hodgson, a member of a recent UEFA technical study group that also included Pep Guardiola, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.

And Bayern have been in touch with the Football Association today to assure them they do not have the attitude towards Hodgson they have been accused of.

"We are surprised by the reports relating to Roy Hodgson in the English media and would like to clarify the situation," said a Bayern statement. "We have a high regard for Mr Hodgson and, like our sporting federation the DFB, would like to congratulate him on his appointment as England manager.

"As a coach and manager Mr Hodgson is of course very well known in Germany and it should be made clear they have nothing but respect for Mr Hodgson and his record. In no way did they or anyone at Bayern Munich question, or criticise his appointment."

German Football Federation president Wolfgang Niersbach actually sent a letter to Hodgson congratulating him on his appointment as England manager and ESPN has been informed that the ex-Switzerland boss is so highly regarded in German football that he was considered for the post as their national team manager back in 2000.

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