England manager Roy Hodgson has acknowledged that he is placing a ‘burden’ on Sir Alex Ferguson by picking so many Manchester United players for his national squad, and says he is striving to maintain a good relationship with the Old Trafford boss.
The 65-year-old has called up Rio Ferdinand for 2014 World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro despite a long absence from the England set-up for the centre-back, which has concerned Sir Alex given the defender`s previous fitness problems.
Chris Smalling, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Ashley Young, Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck have also been called up, and Hodgson says it is vital to keep the Old Trafford manager onside for the sake of his national plans.
“I spoke to Sir Alex about recalling Rio [Ferdinand], but I won`t go into the details of the conversation," he told reporters. "Of course, Sir Alex is an important person for me to keep in touch with considering how many players Manchester United provide me with.”
‘We`ve not had any personal problems at all while I`ve been England manager. Sir Alex has been very fair. I am aware when you take a lot of players from one club you are placing the burden on that club and that manager.”
“I`ve got to be aware when you take players from club teams you are borrowing other people`s property. I am a custodian of these players. We try to do a good custodial job.”
“One hopes the chance to play for England, as it will be a great motivation, but you also have to understand the views of the managers. We always research what the routines are with their clubs. We take into account the players` programmes, and our medical people are in constant contact with all the clubs.”
Hodgson also praised Sir Alex for putting faith in young talented English players, and says the nation is reaping the benefits of United`s youth programme and transfer policy.
“We`re very fortunate Sir Alex is prepared not to overlook the young players like Tom Cleverley, Chris Smalling, Danny Welbeck and Phil Jones,” he continued. “He has given them plenty of opportunities, but a lot of clubs have very few English players in their team.”
"I`m fortunate that in Manchester United, there are a lot of English players," he added. "I take advantage by selecting them."
First Published: Sunday, March 17, 2013, 18:41