Redknapp: Ferdinand exclusion difficult for Hodgson

The Tottenham manager feels that the 64-year-old had a tough decision to make when leaving the experienced Manchester United defender out of his England squad
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has conceded that the exclusion of Rio Ferdinand from the England squad was a difficult decision to make for Roy Hodgson.

The 33-year-old was left out of Hodgson’s 23-man group for Euro 2012 for what the former Baggies boss originally described as "footballing reasons".

However, it has been suggested that the presence of John Terry - who is awaiting trial for allegedly racially abusing the centre-back's brother, Anton - is the reason for Ferdinand's failure to make the squad.

And, with inexperienced Liverpool defender Martin Kelly replacing Gary Cahill following the Chelsea man's jaw fracture, Ferdinand has publicly questioned his omission from the squad.
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But Redknapp, who was widely tipped as the front-runner for the England job a few months ago, believes that the 64-year-old's decision should be supported for the good of the team.

"I think it's a difficult decision for him," Redknapp told Sky Sports News. "There's obviously more to it.

"If it's just football, it's difficult to leave Rio out, obviously, because he's a fantastic player still.

"But that's the decision that's been made and we've just got to get behind Roy and the England team now, with the Euros coming up.”

Redknapp also expressed his belief that England have sufficient cover at centre-back, despite the absence of Cahill and Ferdinand.

"We're all looking forward to it. It'll be a great tournament, I'm sure, and there's no reason why we can't have a great tournament,” he added.

"We've lost some key players. Gary Cahill is much improved. He's going to be an excellent centre-half, with a great future.

“But Joleon Lescott is also a great player in my opinion, and Phil Jagielka. With John Terry as well, there's plenty of cover there and I'm sure we've got enough central defenders to do the job."    

The 65-year-old wnet on to claim that Hodgson has made England difficult to beat and, just like Chelsea in the Champions League last season, the Three Lions could cause an upset this summer.

"I'm sure the players will come together,” Redknapp added. “I think the spirit looks good. [England have produced] a couple of decent performances - in Norway and at home at the weekend against Belgium, who are difficult opponents.

"Without being spectacular, we were solid, strong, difficult to beat. I'm sure that's how Roy will set the team up and nobody will get an easy game against England."

"Spain and Germany, from what I've seen, would probably be the favourites, but you just never know. It's cup football - as you've seen this year in the Champions League, anything can happen."