Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Cole warned not to wreck England spirit

 

Roy Hodgson has left Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Cole in no doubt that the pair would have to put their feud behind them and ensure there was no "tension" now that the Manchester United defender has been recalled to the England squad.

The England manager also conceded that Ferdinand may harbour "grievances" against Hodgson himself for his steadfast refusal to pick the 34-year-old up until today, when a shortage of fit, in-form centre-backs for this month's World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro led to his recall.

On the Ferdinand-Cole relationship, Hodgson said: "I think the spirit in the group is good. 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... we are talking about two very experienced, professional players here. I don't envisage any problems."

Speaking earlier to television crews, Hodgson had suggested that Ferdinand and Cole could rekindle their friendship. "We are talking about England as a football team, not purely individuals, and I expect the pair of them to do their job," Hodgson said. "Ashley to do his job at left-back and Rio to do his at centre-half. I don't expect any problems. If there are any, I will have to deal with them but I'm rather hoping the long-term friendship can re-emerge and the unfortunate incident along the way can be forgotten."

Ferdinand's falling out with Cole dates back to the latter's decision to give evidence on behalf of his Chelsea team-mate John Terry last summer in Terry's trial on charges of racial abuse against Ferdinand's brother, Anton. Terry was found not guilty in that case but Ferdinand was fined by the Football Association for acknowledging a racial slur against Cole on Twitter.

The decision to select Ferdinand was, Hodgson said, a "no-brainer" having previously indicated that he believed the player's England career was over. Most famously, Hodgson was reported as having told fellow travellers on the London Underground in October that it was "the end of the road" for Ferdinand, who has 81 caps.

Asked whether Ferdinand might have a grudge over Hodgson having not picked him thus far, he 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."

The Tottenham centre-back Michael Dawson also came into the squad for the first time under Hodgson. The Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott was left out – having "played so little football" – and Scott Parker was recalled for the first time since Euro 2012. Aaron Lennon is the most significant current injury worry.

The West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster also returns from his self-imposed international sabbatical. "Yes, people do get upset when people turn their back on their country," Hodgson said. "He had his reasons. I think a lot of them were familial. Now he feels he is in a position where he can make himself available and I am happy to select him."

Under-19 role for Arsenal legend Adams

Tony Adams has been asked to help coach the England Under-19 team ahead of their game against Turkey next Thursday.

The former Arsenal and England defender will be in the dugout alongside coach Noel Blake for the game which takes place at Telford United's New Bucks Head Stadium. Adams was previously manager of Portsmouth and Wycombe.

Peter Taylor has been named England's head coach for the Fifa Under-20 World Cup finals in Turkey this summer. The former Leicester manager, who had a spell in caretaker charge of the senior England side in 2000, has been appointed on a two-month contract. The draw for the tournament takes place in Istanbul on 25 March.

England squad

To play San Marino and Montenegro in World Cup qualifiers this month:

Foster (West Bromwich), Hart (Man City), Forster (Celtic); Baines (Everton), Cahill, A Cole (both Chelsea), Dawson, Walker (both Tottenham), R Ferdinand, Smalling (both Man Utd), Johnson (Liverpool); Carrick, Cleverley, Young (all Man Utd), Gerrard (Liverpool), Lampard (Chelsea), Lennon, Parker (both Tottenham), Milner (Man City), Osman (Everton), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott (both Arsenal); Defoe (Tottenham), Rooney, Welbeck (both Man Utd), Sturridge (Liverpool).

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