Fergie surprised by Ferdinand call

Sir Alex Ferguson says he was "as surprised as anyone" when Rio Ferdinand was named in the latest England squad.

Last Updated: 15/03/13 at 14:53 Post Comment

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson says he was "as surprised as anyone" when Rio Ferdinand was named in the latest England squad.

Ferdinand was selected by Roy Hodgson for this month's World Cup qualifiers with San Marino and Montenegro, the first time he has been called up by the current England boss since he took charge just before Euro 2012.

The move caught Ferguson by surprise given Ferdinand's long-standing fitness issues.

And he is not entirely convinced international duty is the best way forward for the 34-year-old.

"I was as surprised as anyone when I heard," he said.

Ferguson added: "I need to speak to the (United) doctor because we prepare Rio Ferdinand in a certain way and there are certain treatments he has to go through.

"He has to make sure he is going to be OK in terms of the number of games he plays.

"We have been doing that for two years and it has worked. We have to look at all these things before Rio decides (if he joins up)."

Ferguson added: "I need to speak to the (United) doctor because we prepare Rio Ferdinand in a certain way and there are certain treatments he has to go through.

"He has to make sure he is going to be OK in terms of the number of games he plays.

"We have been doing that for two years and it has worked.

"We have to look at all these things before Rio decides (if he joins up)."

If Ferdinand did not report it would be a minor embarrassment for Hodgson given his climbdown from previous statements that he has "moved on" from the Manchester United defender.

"The procedures have been the same all season which has given him fantastic performance levels when he's playing for us," said Ferguson.

"We have to consider that and Rio is considering that. And we'll see what the outcome of that is."

Although it does appear there has been some kind of breakdown in communication, Press Association Sport understands United were contacted by the FA ahead of Friday's squad announcement, even if Ferguson and Hodgson did not actually speak.

And given Ferdinand recently stated he would love to play for his country again, it would seem strange for the 34-year-old to now pull out on fitness grounds when the opportunity he craved for so long has been presented to him.

In addition, there is the likelihood Ferdinand will only be required for the crucial trip to Montenegro on March 26 given Group H whipping boys San Marino are the test next Friday.

Nevertheless, Ferguson is clearly concerned, which is probably understandable given his side face two games in 48 hours immediately after the international break, with their FA Cup replay with Chelsea having to be squeezed into a congested fixture calendar due to the Blues' Europa League commitments.

Ferguson also confirmed neither Nani nor Phil Jones will be available for Saturday's Barclays Premier League encounter with Reading at Old Trafford, although in the former man's case, his hamstring injury is not as bad as first feared.

"When he came off against Chelsea last week we thought it could have been another bad hamstring injury," said Ferguson.

"It is not as serious as we thought but he could be out for a couple of weeks."

Saturday's game is the third time this season United have faced opponents who have just sacked their manager.

And Ferguson finds Reading's decision to axe Brian McDermott perplexing in the extreme.

"I never understand football," said Ferguson. "If they had done it in December or January maybe I would have understood it because he could have brought players in.

"Brian McDermott has done a good job given the outlay. He spent something like £1.2million and got in £7.4million and got them promoted to the Premier League.

"He was manager of the month in January - I hope I am not manager of the month this month."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

hould have stayed because we carried him for 6.5 years. And then he has a breakthrough season, and was gone soon after. MU fans, you would be as disgusted had C Ronaldo left in 2007 and not 2009.

godof86
Is Van Persie Slipping Sadly Into The Night?

G

ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

RogerRedHat
Hodgson hits out at Kane leak

H

e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

hump3.
Skrtel denies violent conduct

Footer 365

Scholes: Bale 'perfect' for United

Paul Scholes says Gareth Bale would be "a natural fit" for Manchester United and believes the winger could have the same impact as Eric Cantona.

Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio suffers anterior cruciate ligament damage

Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering knee ligament damage.

Mark Hughes signs new contract with Stoke City to summer 2018

Stoke manager Mark Hughes has signed a new contract with the club which runs until the summer of 2018.

Mail Box

Where's The Love For Walcott?

Theo Walcott is wanted by neither Arsenal or Liverpool fans in the afternoon Mailbox. Also, some good points on the FA skewed priorities, and glorious geekery...

Ripe Robin Still Has A Role To Play...

There is some support for the aging Robin van Perise in a frankly threadbare Mailbox. Also, more debate over homegrown players, with a suggestion of an import tax...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company