Hodgson won't ask Terry to come out of international retirement despite defensive dilemma

The England manager will not try to persuade the Chelsea captain to do a U-turn, insisting that it would be disrespectful to the central defenders already in his squad
England manager Roy Hodgson has no intention of persuading John Terry out of international retirement and insists that any suggestion that he should is disrespectful to the defenders in his squad.

The Three Lions boss was asked after Friday's 8-0 win over San Marino whether he had considered contacting the Chelsea captain - who quit international football last year - in the wake of withdrawals by several centre-backs.

ANALYSIS: Five things that England got out of their 8-0 drubbing of San Marino
Hodgson had no hesitation in telling reporters: "No. The fact is John Terry has retired from international football, a decision I have respected.

"I think it's wrong for people to ask for people to consistently come back. I'm working with a group of players here and we've had quite a lot of games here since John retired.

"Where do we stop? Should Michael Owen come out of retirement every time we can't score a goal? Let's stick really to the guys playing regularly every week.

"I've got great respect for John Terry and he did a fantastic job during Euro 2012 but circumstances contrived against me in that respect and he felt the need to retire, so let's respect that.

"And let's also show some respect for the young Chris Smalling and the not-so-young but well-tried-and-tested Joleon Lescott. Because Lescott's at Manchester City, he's a champion of England; Smalling is playing for Manchester United.

14/1 England are 14/1 with Bet365 to beat Montenegro 3-1 on Tuesday
"I'm not exactly putting a couple of players from non-league football out there on Tuesday night against Montenegro and I think we should show them a bit more respect and not constantly compare them.

"Maybe while we're talking about John we could maybe talk about Roy McFarland and Colin Todd. How far back do you want us to go? I'm sure when people make that point they're aware they're being disrespectful to the people who are there.

"And anyway, football is a team game. You don't win a game because you've got a particular centre-half, midfielder or a forward, you win it because you're a good team with good players who work for each other."

Despite the politics and defensive troubles, however, Hodgson insists that he is relishing his role.

"I know as England manager you're not supposed to find it enjoyable but I have," he enthused. "The one thing England fans can be certain of is that if we fail, it won't be because there are players who don't take it seriously, who are more interested in themselves or their clubs.

"I know those accusations are bandied about but I can honestly say I've seen no examples of that whatsoever."