Roy Hodgson praises under-fire Cole

Chelsea and England defender Ashley ColeEngland manager Roy Hodgson has praised Ashley Cole, despite the left-back being in trouble with the FA.

The Chelsea defender labelled the governing body as a ‘bunch of twats’ on Twitter last week, before becoming embroiled in a war of words with former Three Lions captain and BBC pundit Alan Shearer.

With Cole potentially facing disciplinary action over his comments, Hodgson has rushed to the full-back’s defence and claimed that he could be captain of the nation when he makes his 100th cap.

“It is something that would need an awful lot of consideration and you would need to discuss it with Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, who have been captaining the team. It is not something you should take lightly. It is certainly worthy of consideration,” Hodgson is quoted as saying in The Guardian.

“What is more worthy of consideration is the fact that Ashley, at a relatively young age and with more football left in him, is likely to get his 100th cap very soon – and that is fantastic. I don’t think we should ever underestimate the value of that.

“I for one respect that wholeheartedly and have found him to be an excellent professional and a very, very enthusiastic and important member of the group and I’m looking forward to working with him for a period of time to come.

“He has done it with consistency and there is no reason why he cannot set his sights higher. I must say it is an achievement we shouldn’t be underestimating and if people are going to praise his achievement it is something I would endorse,” he concluded.

Despite Hodgson’s glowing comments, it is believed that Cole will be charged by the FA this week.