Last Updated: Thu, 17 Oct 2013 17:14
Norwich boss Chris Hughton has backed Roy Hodgson over the furore about the England manager's 'monkey' reference to Andros Townsend.
Hughton believes there was no intention on Hodgson's part to abuse the Tottenham winger during the half-time interval of England's 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Poland on Tuesday.
Several national newspapers have seized upon a joke Hodgson made about a monkey in space, suggesting it upset other players in the squad. Townsend used his personal Twitter account to insist he was not offended by the comments and Hodgson has had the public backing of FA chairman Greg Dyke.
Hodgson has also issued his own statement apologising for any offence caused and Hughton is convinced Hodgson's actions were not racially motivated.
"Of course the fact that it is the England manager this is going to be big news and particularly after a fantastic week for the team," said Hughton.
"I'm led to believe that there have been statements from Roy and the FA and I am quite sure that in the manner of what was said there was no intent to abuse anybody. We are in a different age now and we are very conscious these days of racial issues. Perhaps we are living in times when you have to be very, very careful what you say at any given time but I would reiterate knowing Roy as I do there would not have been any offence meant.
"Having said that I think it is a good thing that in general terms we have reached the stage where incidents reach the press that years ago would never have been mentioned - that means there are far more people conscious of the issues. We have made great strides over the years and to maintain that good progress everyone has to work hard and I think there has to be an awareness about people's actions."
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