Fergie urged Rio to meet Hodgson

  • Last Updated: March 29 2013, 14:32 GMT

Sir Alex Ferguson today revealed that he encouraged Rio Ferdinand to have face-to-face discussions with England manager Roy Hodgson over his international future.

Fergie urged Rio to meet Hodgson

Ferdinand was selected for England's recent World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro, only to withdraw due to an 'intricate and pre-planned' training regime.

Rio Ferdinand

5. Rio Ferdinand

Title Number
Appearances 0 (0)
Goals 0
Assists 0
Yellows 0
Reds 0
*Current Season

The 34-year-old has since been the victim of abuse from England fans.

"He did the right thing to go down and see Roy," said Ferguson.

"I encouraged him to go down and do it face to face."

Ferguson continued: "He needed to explain how we handle him now and how he prepares for games.

"I think Roy appreciated that."

The United boss also said he had no issue over Ferdinand's trip to Qatar, which caused such consternation among the England fans.

"I was only catching up on a couple of things over the last couple of days and to be honest it doesn't bother me one bit," he said.

"They had the weekend off and players are entitled to do what they want.

"They trained all last week and we gave them Friday, Saturday and Sunday off. He has his own choice with these things."

England fans have now been reported to FIFA by anti-racism group FARE after directing abusive chants at Ferdinand at both matches.

Ferguson feels such extreme reactions are a sign of the times.

"That is the modern society I am afraid," he said. "We see a lot of that.

"Supporters react to many things. I don't think we can change that."

Hodgson has said there needs to be further discussions between the Football Association and United before Ferdinand could be considered again for his country.

But Ferguson is not sure that is necessary.

"I don't think there is any need," he said.

"Roy phoned me and I said he would need to speak to Rio for what his reaction is.

"The matter was put to rest when Rio went to see him."

Ferdinand is bound to be involved at some stage over the next three days, when United head to Sunderland in the Premier League and Chelsea for their FA Cup quarter-final replay.

And there was also good news on the injury front.

"We have no injuries from the internationals," said Ferguson.

"There is a bit of tiredness but we will make sure we get plenty of energy back in their bodies.

"Nani, Phil Jones and Paul Scholes have also done a little bit of training, which is encouraging.

"Hopefully that will give us a good strong squad as we approach the next two games."

Ferguson also said the best thing to happen over the international break was the return to form of Robin van Persie.

The Dutchman has not scored in seven games for his club but managed three in two games for his country.

"It is the same with all strikers," he said.

"When they get into a little dry spell they hope to get out of it as quickly as they can. Hopefully those goals for Holland will have helped him to do that.

"But his form has not changed. That is the important thing.

"But the goals will help. There is no question about that."

Price boost with Sky Bet for Robin van Persie to score first at 3/1