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The Manchester United boss is confident that the veteran defender will not be fazed by verbal attacks and unsavoury chants after he snubbed Roy Hodgson's England call-up

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is confident that Rio Ferdinand will not be affected by verbal abuse from fans.

The defender was the subject of derogatory chants from England fans during the international break for turning down a call-up to face San Marino and Montenegro, which allegedly took on a racist undertone.

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Ferdinand cited an inability to deviate from a pre-planned fitness regime but, despite outlining his intention to represent his country again in the future, was targeted by unimpressed supporters along with his brother, Anton.

"I don't think it will bother him," Sir Alex told reporters. "If there is criticism out there for him, then it shouldn't bother him.

"To be honest with you, I think it will blow over quite quickly.

"That's modern society, I'm afraid. We see a lot of that, supporters' reaction to many things, and I don't think we can change that. It's modern society.

"People are always ready to vent their spleen against whoever displeases them at any particular moment."

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