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Ferguson highlights importance of Rio
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is happy not to see defender Rio Ferdinand back in the England squad.
England boss Roy Hodgson has overlooked the United veteran for a recall despite needing to find a replacement in his latest squad for the now retired John Terry.
Ferguson was unwilling to discuss the manner in which this was communicated by Hodgson - who told punters on a London Underground train before the official announcement - as he met media to preview United's game at Newcastle this weekend. But the Scot made clear he personally was pleased the 33-year-old was not being subjected to the extra international workload.
Ferguson said: "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.
"Hopefully by doing that he will be far more important to me than England."
Ferdinand has won 81 caps for England but not represented his country since June 2011.
Hodgson chose not to pick him for Euro 2012 last summer but has said he was "not closing the door" on the player's international career.
Stoke's Ryan Shawcross was instead included in the squad for this month's World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland.