• International football

Hodgson tired of Rio speculation

ESPN staff
February 8, 2013
Rio Ferdinand has 81 England caps © PA Photos

Roy Hodgson has again played down any hope of a Rio Ferdinand recall for England, explaining he is tired of talking about the defender.

Ferdinand has not played for the Three Lions since June 2011, and was last year involved in a much-publicised racism saga involving brother Anton and long-time defensive partner John Terry.

Terry has since retired from international football, clearing the way for Ferdinand to return. However, following England's 2-1 triumph over Brazil this week, Hodgson reiterated his desire to move on from the conjecture.

"I am not going to talk about Rio," he said. "It seems to me all I ever do is answer questions about Rio. We have just beaten Brazil for the first time in God knows how many years. It is my first game against Brazil. We have had six players 22 and under on the field.

"I am not prepared, every time we play a game, to keep revisiting something which I have revisited at every single press conference for the last 10 months."

Hodgson also defended the central defensive combination of Gary Cahill and Chris Smalling, despite the former gifting posession to Brazil, leading to the visitors' equaliser.

"You are being unfair to the two of them to suggest they can't (bring the ball out of defence)," he said. "Smalling can do that. He is not lacking in ability on the ball. Neither is Gary Cahill."

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