Gary Neville cool on talk of Rio Ferdinand England recall

The former Manchester United right-back has said it is unlikely that his former team-mate will feature again for the Three Lions, with Roy Hodgson looking to the future
Gary Neville has played down Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand's chances of playing for England again.

The 37-year-old, who is part of England manager Roy Hodgson's coaching team, has claimed that Ferdinand will probably never feature for the national team again unless he can definitely hold down a spot in the starting XI.

The central defender's form was put under scrutiny after the Red Devils' defeat to Tottenham at the weekend, and despite the absence of John Terry from the national set-up, it is unlikely the former Leeds defender will get a recall.

Neville, while working as a pundit for Sky Sports, said: "Roy Hodgson has never said that Rio will no longer play for England. Rio Ferdinand has never said he won’t play for England again.

"But how many games has Rio Ferdinand played for Fabio Capello in the last 18 months? Three.

"He has not been playing regularly for England for the past two years. Roy Hodgson is looking to 2014 and I don’t see a big issue with this.

"He is a class defender [but] Roy Hodgson has said many times that he won’t pick 34 or 35 year olds with 70 or 80 caps just so they can sit in the stands.

"It will be divisive in the squad, divisive in the dressing room.

"If he gets picked then it will be with him having to be one of the first names on the team sheet. He hasn't played regularly for the past 20 months, it’s not just a Roy Hodgson thing."

Hodgson will select his squad for England's World Cup Qualifiers against San Marino and Poland on Thursday.