Football: World Cup - Ince heads England injuries

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The Independent Online
PAUL INCE is "50-50" to start England's decisive Group G World Cup tie against Colombia in Lens on Friday, Glenn Hoddle said yesterday. Ince suffered a recurrence of the ankle injury that troubled him late last season during the defeat by Romania and, the England coach added, "would definitely have been out if we had not taken him off."

Ince is the most serious of four injury doubts for England. Gareth Southgate is yet to shake off his ankle injury, Paul Scholes has a bruised wrist after being trodden on Monday and Sol Campbell has a jarred knee. Scholes and Campbell both took part in light training yesterday but Ince and Southgate did not.

Hoddle was also concerned about damage being done outside the England camp by external criticism, notably from Alex Ferguson. The Manchester United manager criticised Hoddle's decision to play Darren Anderton ahead of David Beckham at the weekend which, said Hoddle, "was unhelpful."

"People have to understand that it is up to me to pick the team and it is disappointing that some of the people criticising do the same job as me," he said. "I wouldn't put that pressure on Alex before a big European game. It didn't affect Darren, though, he would not have played so well if it had."

Anderton dismissed the remarks. "Everyone has a right to their opinion," he said.

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