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European Qualifiers Group E

Hodgson holds Ferguson talks

England manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed he has held talks with Sir Alex Ferguson regarding Rio Ferdinand and is adamant the Manchester United defender will be looked after on international duty.

Last Updated: 17/03/13 at 00:08 Post Comment

Rio Ferdinand: The Manchester United centre-back has returned to the England squ

Rio Ferdinand: The Manchester United centre-back has returned to the England squ

The centre-back has been surprisingly recalled to the Three Lions squad for their World Cup qualifying double-header against San Marino and Montenegro.

United boss Ferguson had on Friday voiced concerns about Ferdinand's fitness as a consequence but after Saturday's win over Reading he confirmed the defender would be joining up with his country.

And Hodgson said: "I have spoken to Sir Alex (about Ferdinand) but I'm not going to go into detail about conversations I've had with other managers.

"Sir Alex is an important person for me to keep in touch with. But I'm not prepared ever to discuss the content of our conversation. That will remain private between us.

"Whenever players come to join us, we always research what their routines are with their club sides, what they are used to doing two days after a match for example or the day before a game."

It is understood Hodgson may go some way to managing Ferdinand's game time by resting him for the San Marino match - which England are overwhelming favourites to win - and draft him in for the vital game against Montenegro a week on Tuesday.

The manager is certainly not looking too far ahead where Ferdinand is concerned and said: "Rio might be fit in September, October, November, he might be fit next June (and the World Cup). I'm not bothered about the long-term future at the moment."

Hodgson also accepts he owes a debt to Ferguson with his willingness to give young homegrown players a chance to flourish at United, with seven of Hodgson's squad for the forthcoming games based at Old Trafford.

Hodgson said: "We are lucky Sir Alex has not overlooked the young players like (Tom) Cleverley, (Chris) Smalling, (Phil) Jones and (Danny) Welbeck."

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G

ood lord that's got me unnecessarily excited. Damn you Storey. Cut to Liverpool being crushed under the wheels of Sparky's Stoke Machine and Firmino brought off the bench to no effect. It's the hope that kills you.

suarez_blind
Roberto Firmino: Steel To Complement The Silk

N

o Schweini? Have to admit that I did a little sex wee when we signed him and I can't wait to see him in action!!!

spence
F365's Top Ten Players We Can't Wait To Watch

I

think he'll do quite well. My only reservation would be Kagawa, who had similar stats to Firmino in the bundesliga before he came, but time will tell.

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Roberto Firmino: Steel To Complement The Silk

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