Euro 2012: ‘Never a question’ of Ferdinand snub, says Hodgson

England boss Roy Hodgson insists there was "never a question" of selecting Martin Kelly ahead of Rio Ferdinand for Euro 2012

roy hodgson
Roy Hodgson has defended his decision to call up Martin Kelly PA Photos

roy hodgson

Roy Hodgson insists there was “never a question” of choosing Martin Kelly over Rio Ferdinand for England’s Euro 2012 squad.

The Manchester United defender expressed concerns about his international future after he was overlooked as Gary Cahill’s replacement for the tournament in Poland and the Ukraine.

But Hodgson has attempted to set the record straight on the matter, insisting versatile Liverpool defender Kelly was his preferred choice after Tottenham’s Kyle Walker was ruled out.

“It’s a pity that the real story behind it hasn’t be told, which is very, very simple – I chose 23 players to start with and in that 23, I left Rio out and, at the time, that was discussed,” he told BBC Sport.

“When Gary Cahill got injured, then there was never any question of turning to someone like Rio Ferdinand because my first thought was to turn to somebody who could come in at the lower end of the squad, possibly a younger player [and] get some experience.

“I already have 16, 17, 18 senior players, four of whom are centre-backs who will cover that position. Our first thought actually was Kyle Walker because he was one of my original selections and we did get in touch with him just to check whether the toe had cleared up.

“It hadn’t so we turned back to Martin Kelly, who of course had been with us before we went to Norway in that Oslo training camp. We let him go when the Chelsea players arrived on the scene but we just called him back.

“There was never ever any question of which player shall I take here – shall I take Rio or shall I take Martin. There was never any question of that.”

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