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Roger Johnson: I'm at Wolves for the money

Birmingham | Sport | Published:

Defender Roger Johnson today admitted he stays at Wolves because of the money and claims he has been shunned by the club.

The £4million man, who is under contract at Molineux until June, spoke out on Sky's Soccer AM before the Wolves v Birmingham City game this lunchtime.

Johnson, who has played for both clubs, has been exiled ever since head coach Kenny Jackett arrived at the club in June 2013.

The 31-year-old, who earns around £25,000-a-week, trains every day at 2pm with coach Steve Hodge after the other players have left and hasn't played since a loan spell at West Ham last season.

Asked why he doesn't leave, he said: "It's a good question. I'm employed by the club so I would probably give up a fair amount of money if I just walked out.

"They (fans) can point the finger, but I didn't ask to come in at 2pm. I didn't ask not to play. I want to play football."

Johnson, who was told not to train with the first team in the days following Jackett's appointment along with Karl Henry, Jamie O'Hara and Stephen Ward, admitted he finds it hard going.

He said: "I'm not going to lie – it's tough. A lot of people watching this will say 'he trains at 2pm, what's wrong with that?' But there's a lot that goes that's not ideal.

"I'm not here to slander anyone. So there's a few things I can't say. That's Wolves' decision and there's not a lot I can do about it really.

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"I'm employed by the club. I come in at 2pm – I don't come in during the morning like the rest of the boys.

"There was a few of us at the start of the season but the numbers have dwindled and it's just me and one other (Kevin Foley) at the moment, so it's been tough.

"There's a lot of politics involved, so I just try to keep my head down and keep myself fit and, hopefully, that chance will come.

"Last season it did - I went to Sheffield Wednesday and West Ham on loan and I was hoping the same would happen this season but, so far, it hasn't."

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When asked about Johnson's comments after today's game which ended 0-0, Jackett said: "Where Roger Johnson is concerned, my conscience is utterly clear.

"Johnsin and Kevin Foley will be out of contract at the end of the season."

Johnson was disciplined by Wolves after training showing the effects of alcohol in March 2012, after being dropped from the team.

The defender also claims he has become the most unpopular footballer in the West Midlands.

He said: "I get a fair amount of stick but that's not my decision. When I'm in and around Birmingham, I'm not the most popular.

"The Villa fans hate me because I played for Birmingham and the West Brom fans hate me because I played for Wolves, so I'm not the most popular in the Midlands."

Johnson admitted he won't be asking Jackett for another chance, saying: "I would say it's gone well past that stage. I'm a proud man and I wouldn't beg anyway.

But he reckons there is lots going on behind the scenes in his battle to find another club, saying: "There are things happening every day and calls get made.

"The politics side of it is something people don't see. They just see 'he's wanted or not' and if I don't go then I'm still here. Lots goes on behind the scenes that people don't know about."

Johnson believes there should be sanctions in place to help players who are left out of favour at clubs.

He said: "I agree there should be something. I'm not the first – there are a fair amount of footballers up and down the country that have been shoved to one side and as a player, you just have to get on with it.

"There's no point screaming and rowing every day – you have got to deal with it. But I think there should be something set in place for out of favour players."

Johnson joked that not having to train in the mornings means he can now watch daytime TV – "Jeremy Kyle" and calls West Ham "a proper club."

He said: "I loved it there – it's a really good club. The games I played I enjoyed and did well.

"It's a proper football club – the players are top notch, the manager is decent and the staff are decent. I had good times there."

But Johnson was lampooned at the Hammers, as a clip in today's show illustrates.

For the crossbar challenge, midfielder Mark Noble introduced Johnson as: "The 'relegator'!" – the defender was in teams that were relegated three seasons from 2011-13 - adding, "The ball could get relegated here!"

Johnson introduced himself as 'Roger Johnson, season ticket holder' before failing to hit the bar, the ball landing in the net instead.

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