Hodgson: Rio may have grievance

Roy Hodgson is concerned Rio Ferdinand may have a "grievance" against him over his lengthy exile from the England team.

Last Updated: 15/03/13 at 08:01 Post Comment

Hodgson: Admits Ferdinand may hold a grudge against him

Hodgson: Admits Ferdinand may hold a grudge against him

Roy Hodgson admits he is concerned Rio Ferdinand may have a "grievance" against him over his lengthy exile from the England team.

Hodgson recalled the Manchester United defender for the away World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro later this month.

It is the first time Ferdinand has been named in a squad by Hodgson since he replaced Fabio Capello as England head coach 10 months ago.

Hodgson intends to talk to Ferdinand "face to face" when the England squad meet up next week, along with the other recalled players in Scott Parker and Michael Dawson.

But he did concede that Ferdinand, 34, may hold some sort of grudge after being left out of the Euro 2012 squad for "footballing reasons" and then not selected.

When asked if it was a concern Ferdinand may have a grievance, Hodgson said: "I suppose it is a concern, yes.

"But I can't do more than I am now, giving him the chance to come back, asking him to come back, making it clear I would like to use him.

"I can't do more than that. If he has a grievance and does hold it against me, that I haven't selected him previously, then there is not much I can do about that."

Ferdinand won the last of his 81 caps to date against Switzerland at Wembley in June 2011 in a Euro 2012 qualifier.

Hodgson said: "At the moment I have selected him because I think he is the right man to do the job. That's the bottom line. I'm hoping he will be pleased.

"I am hoping he plays so well that he plays every single game England play from now to eternity - but I don't have a crystal ball."

Hodgson has not had any personal contact with Ferdinand since deciding to bring him back into the international fold.

But he explained: "I like to do my talking to players face to face.

"The telephone sometimes is not the greatest of instruments, especially if you don't know people extremely well.

"Of course, I talk to all the players. But people like Rio and Scott coming back, Michael Dawson, they are ones I will speak to a little bit more because I don't know them as well. I would like to find out a bit more about them."

Hodgson is hoping any differences between Ferdinand and left-back Ashley Cole can be resolved when the squad joins up on Monday evening.

Ferdinand and Cole clashed after the John Terry race row when Ferdinand endorsed a tweet which referred to Cole as a "choc ice" - a phrase understood to mean someone who is black on the outside but white on the inside.

Hodgson said: "Let's hope (there are no issues) I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

"I think the spirit in the group is good. I am happy with it. I am happy with it. They do seem to care about each other.

"I would be unhappy I suppose if there were tensions between players in a group.

"But on the other hand, this is an England team and these players are fierce rivals sometimes on the field of play and they have special agendas for their club teams.

"There is always, when you bring a national team together, the job of making sure the group is comfortable and people are comfortable with each other.

"But we are talking about two very experienced professional players here and we are talking about the England football team. I don't envisage any problems."

Goalkeeper Ben Foster is also included after ending his two-year international exile last month.

He is poised to provide strong competition for current number one Joe Hart after another fine season for West Brom.

Hodgson admitted: "People do get upset when people turn their back on their country. Ben obviously had his reasons at the time.

"I think a lot of them were familiar. Now he feels he is in a position where he can make himself available and I am happy to select him, because I think he makes our squad stronger."

Foster cited needing time in between matches to recover from injury problems as the chief reason for stopping making himself available to play for England.

Hodgson has selected Tottenham defender Michael Dawson in one of his squads for the first time.

He said: "I have always thought Michael was a good player. If we go back to the time of the Euros and the autumn, he wasn't even a potential for the squad because he was unfit and not able to play.

Now he is fit and able to play I have decided to call him up."

Dawson's team-mate, midfielder Scott Parker, is included for the first time since Euro 2012 after recovering from the Achilles problem which required surgery earlier this season.


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