Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has expressed his delight at defender Rio Ferdinand’s exclusion from the England squad.
The 33-year-old was left out of the Three Lions squad to face San Marino and Poland after Roy Hodgson expressed concerns about his age.
But Ferguson believes the reduced strain on the centre-back is ideal as he enters the latter part of his career at Old Trafford.
"I am not going into that but I am happy anyway because I think at his age he should be protecting himself as best he can,” Sir Alex told reporters.
"Hopefully by doing that he will be far more important to me than England."
Ferdinand has made 81 appearances for England, but has not appeared for the national side since June 2011.