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Ferdinand expects to feature for England

Rio Ferdinand claims Roy Hodgson will still consider him for selection despite withdrawing from the England squad on Monday.

Ferdinand, 34, looked set to end a two-year wait for international football when he was called up by Hodgson for England’s World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

The Manchester United veteran then withdrew from the squad, citing a need to follow a detailed pre-planned training programme to maintain his fragile fitness.

Ferdinand’s decision provoked criticism from many observers, particularly when it was revealed he would be travelling to Qatar during the international break to appear on a television programme broadcasting the game against San Marino.

Hodgson has expressed his “disappointment” at Ferdinand’s withdrawal, but the defender has insisted it will not count against him for future England matches.

“The manager has made it clear he will consider me for other England squads,” Ferdinand told Al Jazeera Sport.

“I spoke to the manager and I think it’s down to him. I met the boss in London and we spoke about my regime and what I’ve done at the last few international breaks.

“This is the same. I’ve been pencilled in to have certain treatments, had them then I’ve come away to have some rest time and to recuperate and get myself ready.

“I think obviously the situation with myself and the national team is well documented. But this isn’t something that I’m doing differently. This is something I’ve done in past international get-togethers when I’ve not been involved.

“I’ve had a course of treatment that I’ve had to have and then to go and rest and get ready and recuperate and that’s what I’ve continued to do.

“But this is the way the media is. You’re going to have people say things and assume a lot of things when they don’t really know too much of the detail behind what’s going on. I’ll continue to do what I’m doing. I know what I’m doing is the right thing.”

Ferdinand was working as a pundit for Al Jazeera Sport as they screened England’s 8-0 victory in San Marino, and the Manchester United centre-back was on the receiving end of some insults from sections of the travelling fans on Friday.

Hodgson, meanwhile, was coy on the subject of another call-up for Ferdinand, expressing concern over the defender’s injury problems and what effect the additional burden of international football could have on him.

“I think we should wait and see,” Hodgson told ITV.

“It’s more a question of whether his injury situation will impact upon him playing for England. We will have to wait and see what happens in the future.”

Sat 23 March, 2013
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