England manager Roy Hodgson has no intention of persuading John Terry out of international retirement.
The Three Lions boss was asked after Friday’s 8-0 win over San Marino whether he had considered contacting the Chelsea captain – who quit international football last year – in the wake of withdrawals by several centre-backs.
But Hodgson insists that any suggestion that he should lure the 32-year-old back is disrespectful to the defenders in his squad.
“No. The fact is John Terry has retired from international football, a decision I have respected,” he said.
“I think it’s wrong for people to ask for people to consistently come back. I’m working with a group of players here and we’ve had quite a lot of games here since John retired.
“Where do we stop? Should Michael Owen come out of retirement every time we can’t score a goal? Let’s stick really to the guys playing regularly every week.
“I’ve got great respect for John Terry and he did a fantastic job during Euro 2012 but circumstances contrived against me in that respect and he felt the need to retire, so let’s respect that.
“And let’s also show some respect for the young Chris Smalling and the not-so-young but well-tried-and-tested Joleon Lescott. Because Lescott’s at Manchester City, he’s a champion of England; Smalling is playing for Manchester United.
“I’m not exactly putting a couple of players from non-league football out there on Tuesday night against Montenegro and I think we should show them a bit more respect and not constantly compare them.
“Maybe while we’re talking about John we could maybe talk about Roy McFarland and Colin Todd. How far back do you want us to go? I’m sure when people make that point they’re aware they’re being disrespectful to the people who are there.
“And anyway, football is a team game. You don’t win a game because you’ve got a particular centre-half, midfielder or a forward, you win it because you’re a good team with good players who work for each other.”
Despite the politics and defensive troubles, however, Hodgson insists that he is relishing his role.
“I know as England manager you’re not supposed to find it enjoyable but I have,” he said.
“The one thing England fans can be certain of is that if we fail, it won’t be because there are players who don’t take it seriously, who are more interested in themselves or their clubs.
“I know those accusations are bandied about but I can honestly say I’ve seen no examples of that whatsoever.”
Meanwhile, Hodgson said that Glen Johnson is in line to face Montenegro but admits that the full-back may require an injection to play.
The 28-year-old suffered a toe infection prior to Euro 2012, while a recurrence of the injury kept the Liverpool defender out of England’s victory over San Marino.
Hodgson insists that there will be ‘no problem’ if Johnson faces Montenegro on Tuesday after having an injection and claims that the right-back was rested for the crushing win as a precautionary measure.
“In the Euros he had a slight toe problem which we had to look after,” Hodgson said.
“All of a sudden it has occurred, although not to the same extent. There is no doubt he could have played (against San Marino) – we could even have had him on the bench – but it would have meant an injection and I preferred to continue the treatment so he didn’t have to put a boot on.
“We hope it will get better in the next couple of days. If it doesn’t it might need an injection but there is no problem.
“It was just a precautionary measure because I felt we had enough players without taking any unnecessary risks.”
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