England coach Roy Hodgson may have insulted Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand again yesterday.

Hodgson confessed he regarded Ferdinand's teammate Michael Carrick as a centre-half option.

Asked whether he was worried about his centre-back options, Hodgson said: "I think it's an area where you get stronger.

"First of all, we've got Carrick in the squad who can always go back there, in a game where you've got more of the ball than the opposition."

The disclosure that Carrick is a better option is sure to anger Ferdinand, who has kept a dignified silence about his exclusion.