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Main » 2013 » March » 22 » Hodgson ´disappointed´ with Ferdinand

Hodgson ´disappointed´ with Ferdinand

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Roy Hodgson is 'disappointed' by Rio Ferdinand's decision to snub the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.
The Manchester United defender withdrew from the squad to pursue a 'pre-planned fitness regime', but is now travelling to Qatar to work as a pundit for local television.

Speaking to reporters before Friday's match against San Marino, Hodgson admitted: "I don't have any serious thoughts. I was disappointed when he couldn't join up with us because I picked him as one of our four defenders.

"What he does now and how he operates in the coming couple of weeks is his business and the club's business. I'm not really interested in the players that aren't here.

"I just look at the players that are here in the squad and worry about them. It would have been nice for Rio to be here but he's not and we move on without him."

Hodgson refused to be drawn on whether this spells the end for Ferdinand's international career, suggesting that fitness will play an important part in the decision.

"It's more a question of how his injury situation will impact on him playing for England," he said. 

"We will see. It is speculation about a long-term future but I am only focusing on the next two games."

Ferdinand's absence has been compounded by an injury to Gary Cahill, but Hodgson insists that he has confidence in the remaining quartet of Joleon Lescott, Chris Smalling, Steven Caulker and the uncapped Steven Taylor.

"I learned today that Gary Cahill won't be able to join us, after we left the door open to him it's not a great surprise," he said.

"But I have been really happy with the centre backs I have got here. It is up to them to make it their good fortune after other people's misfortune."

"We have got four top players here, they are playing at top clubs and have a lot of experience. I would be loathe to start using playing like Michael Carrick who has been selected for his prowess in central midfield and it would be harsh on the four central defenders who are here."

Hodgson was adamant that his team will not take San Marino lightly, and believes that a good performance will set them up for Tuesday's more daunting trip to Montenegro.

"We have focused all our attentions on San Marino then when that is over we will concentrate on Montenegro," he said.

"It would be disrespectful not to focus on San Marino, considering the size of the country they have been very, very good. 

"We know we will need to play well to get a result. There should be no lack of respect for San Marino, this game is not won. Football is not won on paper.

"We respect the country and when they came to Wembley they played well and made life difficult for us. They played well so we don't expect a pushover we don't expect to just take the field and win. 

"Otherwise San Marino might get another opportunity to surprise a team which on paper is regarded as a better team."
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