Stuart Pearce has refused to reveal whether John Terry will be part of England's Euro 2012 squad if he is appointed manager for the tournament.
Terry was stripped of the England captaincy earlier this month when the trial to determine whether he racially abused QPR's Anton Ferdinand was scheduled after Euro 2012. Pearce was appointed caretaker manager a fortnight ago after Fabio Capello quit over the matter and on Thursday declared himself ready to remain in charge until after this summer's tournament.
But he would not be drawn on what that might mean for Terry's hopes of being picked, saying only: "We'd probably chat nearer the summer."
Pearce did indicate the 31-year-old, who denies using a racist slur, would not have been selected for the squad that was announced on Thursday, which was also missing Frank Lampard and Ferdinand's brother Rio.
Insisting there was nothing sinister behind the omissions, Pearce said: "I know Frank, I know John Terry, I know various other players - more senior players if you like - that are not in the squad.
"I don't think I'd learn anything on Wednesday evening watching them play. But I might learn something from maybe one or two of the other individuals on whether they're going to be good enough to serve England in the summer."
He added of Terry, who has been ruled out for another six weeks with a knee injury: "I had a phone call with John earlier this week in respect to his plans over the next four to six weeks. He was an individual who wasn't available for selection, no matter which way I decided to go."
Pearce defended his decision to select fellow veterans Ashley Cole, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Gareth Barry.
"Steven's not been in the squad, I don't believe, since 2010, someone told me, which is too long an absence for a player of his ability," he said.
"So it was important that he came back in and got within the fold again. With suspension going into the first two group games, I think it's important that Wayne's back on an international pitch and playing games. It would be too easy, and too foolish maybe, to put a totally inexperienced side out on that pitch for a game of this magnitude."