Roy Hodgson has apologised to Rio Ferdinand after latest squad selection
Roy Hodgson has apologised to Rio Ferdinand following the way in which news broke of his decision to omit the Manchester United defender from his latest squad.
The England Manager spoke to fans on a tube train in London ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League game at Arsenal, before elements of the conversation appeared in a national newspaper.
After confirming his 25-man squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland, Hodgson revealed he plans to speak to Ferdinand to clear up the matter as soon as possible.
He said: "I'm very disappointed that the story has come out like that and I'll apologise to Rio because there's no way I would ever indicate that I wasn't going to use a player in that way.
“But the thing is that I didn’t choose him in the squad this time and it’s really just for the same reasons as before.
“We have other players, but I’m certainly not suggesting that it’s the end of the line for him.
“I would never dream of telling a player that it’s the end of the line or end of the road, or whatever I’m supposed to have said.
“That’s up to every player to decide for himself and hopefully that won’t be the case.
“When I speak to Rio I will make it clear to him that I haven’t selected him in this squad but who knows whether I will select him in the next one or not.
”I will leave it up to him to decide, so that if I ever do go to him, it will be up to Rio to decide whether he wants to be a part of it or not.
"But the bottom line is I am sticking to my guns.
"I am staying with the players I selected for the Euros and I am looking to the future."
Arsenal left-back Kieran Gibbs, Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon and Stoke centre-back Ryan Shawcross have been rewarded with call-ups following impressive early season displays for their clubs.
And Hodgson added: “Gibbs has started the season very well, and so have Aaron Lennon and Ryan Shawcross.
“They are players that we need to see at closer hand because I see them from the stands, but it will be nice to work with them and see how they can contribute to the team that we’re trying to build up.
“It has to be some sort of rejuvenation process with the England team. There are always going to be some sort of changes when a new coach comes in.
“I am very much aware that Brazil is two years down the road, if we are good enough to get there.
“In two years we need to have a pretty close look at some players to see what they can do and who in two years may be the real stars in the Premier League."
The squad will meet up on Monday at St. George’s Park prior to Friday’s match with San Marino at Wembley. Tickets are still available for the match by clicking here.