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Ferdinand confirmed as England skipper
Published : 11 Oct 2010 14:10:20Rss feed
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has been confirmed as England's captain for the Euro 2012 qualifier with Montenegro at Wembley on Tuesday evening. The Reds star was named as Fabio Capello's skipper after John Terry was sacked following allegations about his private life. The 31-year-old Ferdinand has worn the armband for only two of the 10 subsequent internationals because of injury problems. He missed the World Cup campaign with knee ligament damage sustained during England's first training session in South Africa. Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard has worn the armband in Ferdinand's absence and earned praise from Capello for the way he has handled the role. But the Italian has reverted to his original appointment with Ferdinand leading out the side for the first time since the friendly international with Japan in Graz in late May. Ferdinand admitted to having doubts as to whether he would regain the captaincy. He said: "I didn't know if I was going to be captain or not - I was more concerned about being in the squad and being fit... it's been a fair road back. "The manager is always analysing you physically and mentally and you've got to perform. He has seen me as the right person and I'm delighted with that - but if it had gone the other way I would have shaken Steven's hand and said 'good luck to you' - that's the way it is. "It's a great honour to be named England captain and it's great to be playing again. To come back now and be named captain is fantastic but Steven has done a fantastic job, especially in both European Championship qualifying games - we've won both games quite convincingly. Leaders "We've got a number of leaders in this squad - and the more there are the better we will be as a team. "Steven and Wazza (Wayne Rooney) have worn the armband before so we've got players with experience who know their way around the pitch. If we can continue as we have started in this group we'll be on the right road." The Manchester United defender admitted missing the World Cup because of injury was "a disaster". "The first 48 hours when I got the injury were the worst in terms of thinking of the consequences and analysing it. Missing the World Cup was a disaster for me but you've got to wipe yourself down and get on with it. "I worked hard on rehabilitation and at the training ground at Manchester United. The staff have been fantastic helping me get to this point." On training this morning Ferdinand continued: "There are a few fresh faces - it's nice to train alongside Jack Wilshere and Adam Johnson, young hungry boys who are talented and trying to get in the team. "It makes you feel a bit older but it's a good ambience and long may it continue." The defender knows all about Montenegro front man Mirko Vucinic, who has celebrated goals by removing his shorts and putting them on his head. Ferdinand said: "I know him from when we (Manchester United) have played Roma. You get booked for something like that in our country so it's not something we'll be following suit with, "I knew they would be one of stand-out teams in the group. It will be a hard game and we've got to make sure we bring our 'A' game to make sure we put it to bed because they've started very well in the group." Meanwhile, Sunderland striker Darren Bent has withdrawn from the squad after picking up a groin injury in training on Monday. What is your verdict on the decision? Have your say.
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