Eriksson says Hodgson suffering smear campaign over Man Utd's Ferdinand

Sven Goran Eriksson feels a smear campaign is being running against England coach Roy Hodgson over his omission of Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand.

Eriksson, who managed England between 2001 and 2006, sympathises with Hodgson over his decision to leave the Manchester United defender out.

"Choosing (Martin) Kelly over Ferdinand seems to have caught him in the crossfire and, having selected six Liverpool players, Roy is the target of a smear campaign," the Swede told the Daily Mirror.

"Personally, I just find the whole thing to be quite silly.

"First of all, they're all good footballers. But secondly, Roy has rock-solid knowledge when it comes to the players' current form.

"I do understand Rio's disappointment. He was an incredibly important player for me in three tournaments, but we mustn't forget the injuries he has suffered this season.

"Roy has his reasons, otherwise he would not have rejected Rio - twice.

"It has been an entirely football-based decision. That's all there is to it.

"I know Roy will face it without losing his composure. Remember, this is England. No squad is ever selected without criticism."

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