Hodgson has no doubts over Cole

  • Last Updated: October 10 2012, 7:37 BST

Roy Hodgson does not believe anyone can question Ashley Cole's commitment to England.

Ashley Cole: Closing in on 100 England caps

Cole has been cleared to play in Friday's World Cup qualifier with San Marino after apologising for his Twitter post on Friday when he branded the FA "a bunch of t***s".

The Chelsea man might still not get to win his 99th cap as Hodgson is considering omitting a few of his senior players against the joint-worst team in the world in order to keep them fresh for Tuesday's far more testing trip to Warsaw.

However, Hodgson is relieved to have the option given Cole's status as one of the world's finest defenders.

And, whilst the 31-year-old may have put his place at risk with his knee-jerk reaction to the FA's negative assessment of his evidence at the John Terry racism hearing, Hodgson does not believe it undermines Cole's desire to play for his country.

"This is a player with 98 caps, who has hardly ever missed a game for England when he's been fit," said Hodgson.

"He's been regarded as one of the best, if not the best, left-back in the world for years. No-one could question his commitment to the shirt.

"I'm quite relieved this matter has been completely resolved. He (Cole) made it very clear he regrets it. He did it in anger. He immediately tried to rectify his mistake."

Cole trained at England's magnificent new £105million home just outside Burton on Tuesday unlike Frank Lampard, who is nursing a knee injury.

As Steven Gerrard, who also failed to take part in the main session, is suspended, Wayne Rooney stands by to lead his country in a competitive game for the first time.

The mere fact he is in contention is part of an overall maturity from the Manchester United man which, now John Terry has retired from England duty, should see him take even more responsibility.

"There are a lot of young players in the squad and I always try to speak to them and offer advice," said Rooney.

"I remember Alex Ferguson telling me what a big help (Eric) Cantona was to all those younger players at United.

"It is something I can try do for England and hopefully help bring the best out of them, as they can bring the best out of me."


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