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Hodgson hits at end of Cole's England career

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By Andrew Tuft

Thursday 13 February 2014

England manager Roy Hodgson has suggested Ashley Cole no longer has a place in his side after falling out of favour at Chelsea, the Guardian has reported.

Ashley Cole

Cole lost his place at club level to Cesar Azpilicueta after he was injured and has since been unable to dislodge the Spain international from Jose Mourinho’s first-choice XI.

But by contrast, Leighton Baines and Luke Shaw are regulars for Everton and Southampton respectively and Hodgson has said that as long as Cole remains on the bench, he cannot be sure of his place at international level.

“For years people have been understudy to Ashley,” Hodgson said. “Now it's Ashley's turn to sit back. We know what Ashley can do. We know how fit he keeps himself, how experienced he is.

“I certainly wouldn't write Ashley Cole out of any plans because he isn't playing in his club team. But he will have to accept, like everyone else, that the competition for his place in the club team and international team gets stronger all the time, and I will have a decision to make.

“It's a bit of a problem when you are a full-back. If you are a midfield player, there might be three or four positions you can play. Full-backs are like goalkeepers - either you play or you have to be understudy.”

Hodgson also confirmed this week that he does not intend to ask Cole’s Chelsea teammate John Terry out of international retirement, with the England squad for the World Cup to be named in late May.

The former West Brom boss added that full-back was an area England were well stocked and welcomed the competition for places.

“We have to be quite satisfied with the number of full-backs who are available,” Hodgson said. “Now we have to wait and see who is going to be available and fit when push comes to shove.”

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