Found March 24, 2013 on Fox Soccer:
England captain Steven Gerrard admits supporters have every right to vent their frustration over the Rio Ferdinand saga. Manchester United defender Ferdinand was recalled by national coach Roy Hodgson for a 2014 World Cup qualifying double-header with San Marino and Montenegro. He was drafted back in after a spell in the international wilderness, but ended up pulling out of the squad citing a pre-planned training regime which had been agreed with his club employers as the reason behind his decision. Ferdinand then fanned the flames further by jetting out to Doha to cover the San Marino game as a television pundit, and saw sections of the travelling England support single him out for terrace taunts. Gerrard understands the fan angst, but insists the players remain fully focused on the task in hand - with England striving to book their place at next year's tournament in Brazil. He said: "I think the fans have shown their frustration about Rio not being here. They're ...

Gerrard hits back at Brnovic

England skipper Steven Gerrard will be happy to let his feet do the talking in Podgorica tonight. Gerrard was amused to discover Montenegro coach Branko Brnovic had let fly with a few verbal volleys by the time he landed in Podgorica yesterday. The midfielder believes it is a sign of weakness on the hosts' part that they want to engage in such mind games. As part of a side...

Campbell defends Ferdinand decision

Sol Campbell has defended Rio Ferdinand's decision to withdraw from the England squad, and believes he still has an international future. Ferdinand, 34, had been included in Roy Hodgson's squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro, but withdrew to follow a pre-planned fitness routine designed to help him manage his long-standing back problems. ...

Morning Kick: England aim to quiet Montenegro trash talk (Links)

Montenegro criticism playing into England’s hands, says Steven Gerrard - Steven Gerrard has dismissed Branko Brnovic’s pre-match criticisms of England and suggested the Montenegro coach’s comments actually revealed the visitors have their hosts “right where we want them”, with the locals perturbed by the size of the task ahead… (The Guardian) Fear and loathing...

Blades keeper Long lands gong

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has stood by his decision to fly to Qatar after pulling out of the England squad. The 34-year-old was called up by Roy Hodgson for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro. However, he turned down the chance to add to his 81 caps due to his detailed pre-planned training and medical programme for his long-standing back injury...

Mourinho drops hint over return

Roy Hodgson insists that he will not be asking John Terry to come out of retirement for England. With Rio Ferdinand's decision to turn down a call-up for the double header with San Marino and Montenegro, Hodgson has been left with few options in central defence. Chelsea captain Terry retired from international duty last year after he was found guilty of racially insulting Anton...
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