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Roy casts doubt on Rio future

Roy Hodgson has refused to confirm whether Rio Ferdinand has an England future following his decision to fly to Qatar.

Last Updated: 21/03/13 at 19:05 Post Comment

The Manchester United centre-half this week turned down a first call-up since the summer of 2011, telling Hodgson he did not want to disrupt a pre-planned fitness programme.

But in the days since explaining his position to Hodgson, Ferdinand has been forced to defend a trip to the Middle East which will include a media engagement covering England's World Cup qualifier against San Marino.

Hodgson said on Monday he was "looking forward to hopefully selecting Rio for squads in the future", but asked again whether Ferdinand is part of his future plans the manager said: "We should just wait and see."

Asked for his opinion on Ferdinand's trip, he said: "I don't have any serious thoughts on it. The fact is I was disappointed when he couldn't accept our invitation.

"What he actually does now and how he operates in the coming couple of weeks, that's his business and his club's business. I'm only interested in the players I've got here. That's where I prefer to have my focus."

And pressed on whether England's medical staff could have managed Ferdinand's programme, he said: "You're asking me questions I don't want to go into.

"Of course I respect our medical staff - I think they're very, very good. But Rio made it clear he wasn't able to accept my invitation on this occasion, and we'll see what happens in future."

Ferdinand's withdrawal has led to speculation Michael Carrick could be asked to drop into the back four in San Marino, but Hodgson all but ruled out that possibility.

He said: "I'd be loath to start using someone like Michael Carrick, it would be enormously harsh on the four centre-halves we've got here."

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Y

ou spend £200 million in one year and you say 3 years to win the title, I don't think the Man U board signed you to win the title in 3 years after shelling out that sort of cash. Spending that sort of money you should be challenging for the title in this season, not getting an early excuse in to try appeasing the fans and board.

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Van Gaal has lofty ambitions

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verything looks pretty when, for a short while, the sun shines through the dark clouds. For a brief moment you can forget about your last tonking or the many more to come.

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Van Gaal welcomes 'new start'

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guess Storey was able to cancel his planned trip to the shops this weekend. He won't need to buy any food for a while because he's really dining out on those Angel/angel puns. It's going to be a long season.

ted, manchester
Forget Falcao, United Loving Angel Instead

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