Roy Hodgson pays tribute to Sir Alex Ferguson for giving young players their chance
As he prepares for the first competitive England games since October, Roy Hodgson has spoken about the role that Manchester United could have on the upcoming double header.
England face San Marino and Montenegro in the ongoing campaign to qualify for the World Cup in Brazil, but with seven players coming from the current Premier League leaders, Hodgson will be keen to channel the abilities that see them 15 points clear at the top of the table.
Hodgson said he owes a debt to Sir Alex Ferguson with his willingness to give young homegrown players a chance to flourish at United, with seven of the Three Lions' squad for the forthcoming games based at Old Trafford.
Hodgson said: "We are lucky Sir Alex has not overlooked the young players like Tom Cleverley, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Danny Welbeck.
"He has given them plenty of opportunities to play and that has been good for us.
"We profit by the fact they are playing for what is currently the top team in the country and are getting international experience as well.
"It means in a situation where there are a lot of teams that have very few English players, I'm fortunate that in Manchester United, the country's top team, there are a lot of English players.
"I profit from that and take advantage by selecting them."
Hodgson also outlined that he had contacted Ferguson ahead of selecting Rio Ferdinand for the first time since becoming England Manager.
As with all players who are selected the individual medical needs and fitness regime Ferdinand requires will be taken on board by the England medical staff, and Hodgson made clear that he, like all others, will be handled with care while on international duty.
He said: "I have spoken to Sir Alex about Rio but I'm not going to go into detail about conversations I've had with other managers.
"Sir Alex is an important person for me to keep in touch with but I'm not prepared ever to discuss the content of our conversation. That will remain private between us.
"Whenever players come to join us, we always research what their routines are with their club sides, what they are used to doing two days after a match for example or the day before a game.
"To such extent, we take that into account with our programme and our medical people are in constant contact with the medical people and sports science people at all the clubs.
"It gives us a pretty good idea of what needs to be done. I think it is very important. I regard myself as a custodian of these players.
"We try to do a good job, try and make sure we look after them properly and hopefully send them back in a good condition.
"I've got to be aware when taking players from club teams that you are borrowing other people's property because the players are paid by the clubs, not England.
"One hopes the chance to play for England would be a great motivation for them, but you also understand the managers.
"In the last year, we've not had any problems at all.
"Sir Alex has been very fair but I am aware, when you taking a lot of players from one club, you are placing a burden on that club and that manager."
However, Hodgson is not looking too far ahead where Ferdinand is concerned.
He said: "Rio might be fit in September, October, November, he might be fit next June.
"I'm not bothered about the long-term future at the moment.
"Every time I select a squad, it is the right squad I hope for the games and I make certain I can justify it in my own mind and also in the face of any questions I receive.
"I've put a squad together here which is a good squad, the right squad and I think I can justify it.
"I'll let September, October, November and June take care of themselves. I'll cross the bridge when I come to it."