Roy tight-lipped on Rio future
Roy Hodgson will not "dig a grave" for England if they lose in Montenegro on Tuesday - but it does seem Rio Ferdinand's international hopes have been buried.
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The vicious anti-Ferdinand chants during last night's 8-0 World Cup qualifying win over San Marino will surely make it impossible for Hodgson to consider the Manchester United defender, even if his "intricate and pre-planned" fitness regime allows.
For if the fans who made their way to this tiny corner of the FIFA family felt it necessary to bellow such nasty taunts, how would a full Wembley react to the appearance of a player who preferred to commentate on his country rather than actually turn out for them?
"Of course I heard it," Hodgson said. "I'm not deaf. "But I've absolutely no comment to make on it."
Hodgson can afford to take such a detached stance as public sentiment is now overwhelmingly on his side - although that might turn against him if England get beaten in Podgorica on Tuesday by a side that needed a late goal to overcome Moldova in Chisinau last night.
"It would be a great lift to win on Tuesday, but if we don't get it I won't be getting the spade out to dig a grave for the team," Hodgson said.
"There are 15 points to play for and the team is capable of getting a large number of those points to see us through.
"Beating Brazil gave us confidence and most people will look at the football we played tonight and revel in the fact there were exceptional moves and goals in there."
England remain two points adrift of Montenegro despite recording their biggest win since 1987, and their largest victory in World Cup combat ever.
Jermain Defoe was the only man to score more than once, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ashley Young, Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge adding to the Tottenham striker's brace and an early Alessandro Della Valle own goal.
Hodgson was able to rest key men, including Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole, with Tuesday in mind, although he will definitely be without Gary Cahill and Theo Walcott due to injury.
"We did have some forlorn hope that Gary Cahill might recover," Hodgson said.
"But I was warned it was extremely unlikely, and he's not trained yet so there's no chance of him joining us.
"And right at the start of training yesterday, Theo Walcott was crossing a ball. The pitch was slippy, he followed up the cross and immediately felt a twinge in his pelvic area.
"We took him for a scan and there's a slight tear in a very unusual area.
"He's going back home, but hopefully he won't be out for too long."