Hodgson relieved by Cole apology

The Bolton News: Roy Hodgson is happy to have resolved the issue surrounding Ashley Cole Roy Hodgson is happy to have resolved the issue surrounding Ashley Cole

England boss Roy Hodgson has expressed his relief that Ashley Cole personally apologised to Football Association chairman David Bernstein for his offensive Twitter message.

Cole was charged with misconduct by the FA over his outburst on Friday, when he referred to the governing body as a "bunch of t****'' in response to the independent regulatory commission's damning judgement on his evidence in the John Terry racial abuse verdict.

Bernstein revealed on Tuesday morning that Cole had apologised to him - and the chairman also stressed that it was down to Hodgson to decide whether the Chelsea full-back plays against San Marino in Friday's World Cup qualifier.

Hodgson told a press conference at the official opening of the National Football Centre, televised by Sky Sports News: "I'm pleased the chairman has gracefully accepted the apology from Ashley. I know how saddened he was by it and I'm glad it's been resolved."

Hodgson continued: "He's played 98 times (for England) and hardly missed a game when he's fit. He has been a regular for many years as one of the best, if not the best, left-back in the world. No-one I don't think who is fair minded could criticise his commitment to the England shirt.

"His contrition is greater because he realises that he might have put his position in jeopardy - and I'm very happy he hasn't done that. The important thing for me was that the matter got resolved. He immediately tried to rectify the mistake and apologised for it.

"I always hoped this would be sorted out and I'm very happy with the outcome."

Hodgson added: "The great thing is we have lot of good players competing for places. I know that if I leave players out they'll want to play - it's good to have a selection problem.

"I have ideas in my mind but I haven't selected a team yet. I've got 26 players here, one or two are recovering from injuries and one has gone down sick today so I might be down to 22 or 23 but that's more than enough to play a football match.

"Arguably any team (I pick) from the 23 I have here should be getting a result against San Marino - and that's no disrespect to them. We are the sky-high favourites to win the game."

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