Hodgson happy to draw line under Cole row

Updated: 09 October 2012 22:05 IST

England manager Roy Hodgson admits he is happy to draw a line under the Ashley Cole Twitter row after the Chelsea defender personally apologised to Football Association (FA) chairman David Bernstein.

Hodgson happy to draw line under Cole row

Burton-Upon-Trent, UK:

England manager Roy Hodgson admits he is happy to draw a line under the Ashley Cole Twitter row after the Chelsea defender personally apologised to Football Association (FA) chairman David Bernstein.

Cole was charged with misconduct by the FA on Monday after the England star's outburst on Twitter last week in response to the organisation's criticism of his evidence in the John Terry racial abuse hearing.

The 31-year-old was quick to delete the tweet - in which he branded the FA "a bunch of twats" - and also issued a statement apologising for his rant, but Bernstein revealed that Cole had also said sorry to him in person on Monday.

Bernstein also stressed that it was down to Hodgson to decide whether the Chelsea full-back plays against San Marino in Friday's World Cup qualifier after some pundits called for him to be banned as punishment.

Hodgson, speaking at a press conference at the official opening of the National Football Centre in Burton, said: "I'm pleased the chairman has gracefully accepted the apology from Ashley.

"I know how saddened he was by it and I'm glad it's been resolved.

"He's played 98 times (for England) and hardly missed a game when he's fit.

"He has been a regular for many years as one of the best, if not the best, left-back in the world. No one, I don't think, who is fair minded could criticise his commitment to the England shirt.

"His contrition is greater because he realises that he might have put his position in jeopardy and I'm very happy he hasn't done that.

"The important thing for me was that the matter got resolved. He immediately tried to rectify the mistake and apologised for it.

"I always hoped this would be sorted out and I'm very happy with the outcome."

While Hodgson is free to pick Cole, who will reach 100 caps if he features in both the qualifiers, the defender has been playing with slight ankle injury for several weeks and it is uncertain if he will face against San Marino.

Hodgson has an ideal deputy in Everton's Leighton Baines, who has been in fine form this season, and he added: "The great thing is we have lot of good players competing for places. I know that if I leave players out they'll want to play - it's good to have a selection problem.

"I have ideas in my mind but I haven't selected a team yet. I've got 26 players here, one or two are recovering from injuries and one has gone down sick today so I might be down to 22 or 23 but that's more than enough to play a football match.

"Arguably any team (I pick) from the 23 I have here should be getting a result against San Marino and that's no disrespect to them. We are the sky-high favourites to win the game."

Topics : John Terry England England West Indies Australia Football Ashley Cole
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