England boss Roy Hodgson hails 'good pro' Ashley Cole
Updated published : 01 Feb 2013 08:47:59
Roy Hodgson is happy to count Ashley Cole among England's good guys.
The Chelsea left-back will become the seventh player to win 100 caps on Wednesday when he turns out against Brazil at Wembley.
Cole divides opinion among football fans and his achievement is likely to get a cool reception from some, but Hodgson is not interested in such matters and said: "Reaching 100 matches is an incredible milestone. He deserves an enormous pat on the back. He has been a pleasure to work with and a really good professional."
He added: "He is a two-club man and not a player that has flitted from club to club to get a slightly better contract. He has dedicated his time to Arsenal and then Chelsea.
"Reputations are forged in different ways I suppose. I judge people on how I find them.
"He is a very serious footballer and a very nice person to deal with on the footballing front. He is a shy person. He prefers his football to do the talking and is quite happy for people to judge him on that basis.
"Unfortunately the profile players have these days means they will be judged in other areas. That doesn't affect me and hopefully it won't affect him on Wednesday. I am expecting people to give him the credit he deserves."
Cole could soon be joined in the 100-cap club by Chelsea team-mate Frank Lampard, with Hodgson admitting there is no reason why the midfielder cannot collect the seven caps he needs having returned to the England squad for next week's game.
However, one player who will not be involved is David Beckham, who has signed for Paris St Germain.
"When did he last play for the national team?" said Hodgson. "I don't think he has been plotting a return to the national team. David made up his mind a while ago what he wanted to do with his life."