World Cup 2014: Roy Hodgson firmly rejects notion of John Terry returning for England
Danny Mills suggested the former captain should come back into the fold
Roy Hodgson has ruled out any prospect of a return to the England squad for John Terry after the Football Association Commission member Danny Mills said that the Chelsea captain should be brought back for the World Cup finals.
Mills, who won 19 caps for England, made the remarks while he was working as a pundit for BBC Five Live during England's 1-0 defeat to Germany on Tuesday night. A member of the 10-strong commission, of which Hodgson is also a part, Mills said that the England manager should "get on the phone" to Terry with a view to bringing him back.
Terry played in the first qualifying game for next summer's World Cup finals against Moldova in September last year but retired from international football shortly afterwards when the FA pushed on with its disciplinary case against him over racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand. He has since indicated that he might be prepared to reverse his decision.
Hodgson said: "John retired a long time ago right at the very start of our qualifying campaign. We have played nine games without him. We have qualified without losing a game. I think Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka have done a good job at centre-back, I think Chris Smalling showed [against Germany] he is a very good centre-back in the making. Phil Jones is there as well.
"So I think it is time for us to keep moving forward and not every time we lose a game start to turn back and turn back to someone who has been a fantastic player in the past. Who knows, if John had played [against Germany] maybe he wouldn't have had a good game. We don't know that."
The FA Commission into the future of English footballers, led by chairman Greg Dyke, spent some time after the friendly with Chile speaking to senior members of Hodgson's squad about their thoughts on the key issues. It is understood that the likes of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard were spoken to about the measures they believe would be useful in raising the numbers of English players in the Premier League.
With Mills now on the commission, his words carry a greater weight. However, the FA has indicated that it does not have any problem with him publicly discussing issues unrelated to the commission's brief, like team selection matters. It would be difficult for the governing body to say otherwise, with Hodgson's coach, Gary Neville, the lead pundit for Sky Sports.
After their friendly against Denmark on 5 March next year, the England team will play once more at Wembley at the end of May before flying to the United States for their build-up. They will play the United States – provided they are not drawn in the same World Cup group – in either Boston or Chicago before flying to Miami where they will play two games. Once in Brazil, the plan is still to stay at the Royal Tulip hotel in Rio de Janeiro and train at the military base in Urca. There is a small chance that could change if the draw on 6 December means they play all their games away from the city.
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