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Sunday, October 4, 1998 Published at 23:23 GMT 00:23 UK

Sport: Football

Stop trying to assassinate me - Hoddle

Frustrated: Hoddle has been in no mood for the press this week

England coach Glenn Hoddle has defended his decision to allow his players to use energy-boosting injections in the World Cup.

Hoddle: "Some of the players felt better than they've ever felt"
And he urged the press to stop writing "rubbish" about him being a "wacko" and let him get on with the task of leading the national side.

"There is a lot of baggage that comes with this job and they're trying to assassinate me in many ways," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

Hoddle was criticised last week by Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson for allowing a French biochemist to give the injections to members of his squad.

[ image: Hoddle claims he had written to Alex Ferguson]
Hoddle claims he had written to Alex Ferguson
But the England boss rejected Ferguson's claims and said he had written to all the clubs before France 98:

"The Manchester United doctor spoke to the doctor we used for the World Cup two to three weeks ago, found out exactly what was used and there was no problem whatsoever," Hoddle said.

"Ironically the two players Alex Ferguson was talking about, Paul Scholes and Teddy Sheringham, didn't have any injections so I don't really know where last week's story came from."

'I'm no wacko'

Hoddle is becoming increasingly frustrated with his profile in the popular press and has hit back at those who question his use of faith healers and vitamin injections.

"Why is it wacko when the Brazil, Italian and German teams have been doing that for 20 years?" Hoddle said.

[ image: Germany win again, but not through pure luck]
Germany win again, but not through pure luck
"Your head is in the sand if you have got that perception about vitamin injections and supplements.

"We have been trying to beat the Germans for so many years, but we were playing on a belly full of beer and steak for 20 years, which are the worst things to do, while they were taking these supplements.

"Why do the Germans come back in games in the last 10 minutes when they are losing 2-1?

"It's not pure luck. Yeah, they are mentally strong and physically strong, but if your body is finely tuned to use that physical and mental strength then you have got some player and some team.

"And we have been playing against them for years like that."

'Eileen's not an issue'

Hoddle also dismissed reports that the FA is furious about his controversial World Cup book and his use of faith healer Eileen Drewery and wanted to settle these issues before agreeing a new contract.

"Nobody on the international committee has ever asked me questions about Eileen or the book," Hoddle insisted.

"It makes me smile when I read all the rubbish coming out.

[ image: Eileen Drewery - not an issue]
Eileen Drewery - not an issue
"The facts are it was never a question - it was always just a case of deciding whether to have a four-year deal or take the middle ground and wait until after the European Championship qualifiers.

"The FA has been very good in letting us get on with the job - that's how we qualified for the World Cup in the first place.

"We haven't won our first qualifying match and that concerns me more than any of this rubbish in the papers. We've got to get back to winning ways.

"All this has been blown out of the sky. I use a healer - it works and is a useful vehicle for a footballer and for a person. She is just part of the medical team and I'm confident and easy about using her.

"So many people from the football world go and see her and they wouldn't keep going back if it didn't work, would they?"

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