Rio Ferdinand will join up with England, says Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson

Rio boost for England after Fergie says Man United defender WILL answer SOS for World Cup qualifiers

PUBLISHED:

19:49 GMT, 16 March 2013

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UPDATED:

20:07 GMT, 16 March 2013

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed on ESPN that defender
Rio Ferdinand will join up with the England squad on Monday.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that defender Rio Ferdinand will join up with the England squad on Monday.

The 34-year-old earned his first England call-up under manager Roy Hodgson for the World Cup qualifiers with San Marino and Montenegro later this month.

Not convinced: Ferguson was caught by surprise that Ferdinand was recalled to Roy Hodgson's England squad

Not convinced: Ferguson was caught by surprise that Ferdinand was recalled to Roy Hodgson's England squad

There were reports this morning that
Ferdinand could yet turn down the chance to represent his country again,
either in response to being left out by Hodgson until now or in order
to prolong his club career.

However, Ferguson – asked tonight if the defender would be joining up with England on Monday – told ESPN: 'Yes.'

Hodgson cited 'footballing reasons' for Ferdinand's exclusion in his squad for the Euro 2012 finals and he has remained out of his plans until now.

Ferdinand impressed in the Barclays Premier League match against Reading, setting up the only goal of United's 1-0 Old Trafford win for Wayne Rooney.

Worries: Ferguson will consult United's medical staff before Ferdinand decides whether to accept the call-up

Worries: Ferguson will consult United's medical staff before Ferdinand decides whether to accept the call-up

Ferguson, who reported no casualties
following a win which extends his team's lead at the top of the table to
15 points, was pleased with Ferdinand's contribution.

He said: 'Rio has always had the ability to break into midfield. He
doesn't do it as much as he used to but he did today and got us a goal.

'Most of the time this season we've played well. The performance today doesn't reflect the 15 points ahead we are.

Club and country: Ferdinand, right, will make his decision known to Roy Hodgson on Saturday

Club and country: Ferdinand, right, will make his decision known to Roy Hodgson on Saturday

'I thought some of Reading's football was quite good but they didn't
really make any chances. I expected danger from set-piece play but we
did defend quite well.'

Ferguson acknowledged the deflection which Rooney's shot got off Reading defender Alex Pearce helped his team.

He added on ESPN: 'I don't know if the goalkeeper would have saved it or
not but it was a bad deflection and went over his head.'

Leading the way: Ferdinand prepares for games with special methods to overcome injury worries, including yoga

Leading the way: Ferdinand prepares for games with special methods to overcome injury worries, including yoga