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Dublin: 7°C Tuesday 26 January 2021
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Ashley Cole WILL now lead England out against Ireland and skipper side

Whatever you say, England.

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ASHLEY COLE WILL lead England out in their friendly against the Ireland at Wembley tomorrow night. And after much confusion it’s been confirmed that he will officially captain the side.

Cole will be commemorated for his 100th cap in the fixture and England manager Roy Hodgson confirmed the Chelsea defender will lead the team out, adding that Lampard was happy for his team-mate to do so.

“Frank’s always been the captain in Steven (Gerrard’s) absence, I appointed him vice-captain when I started over a year ago,” Hodgson explained.

“Frank and I have discussed this and Frank was happy for Ashley to lead the team onto the field in celebration of his 100th cap, which he’ll receive tomorrow. He takes his 102nd appearance but he’ll receive his cap tomorrow so Frank and I  are happy that he will lead the team out there.

“But Frank remains the captain and that’s the way it is.

Currently, Danny Welbeck is Hodgson’s only injury concern and the national coach said he was unlikely to play any part in the game. The Manchester United forward is struggling with a calf injury, but Hodgson remains hopeful he will play some part against Brazil at the Maracana Stadium on Sunday.

“He’s receiving constant treatment and we are hopeful he will recover from it, but it seems unlikely that will be in time for the game tomorrow evening but we still harbour hopes that by the time we play Brazil on Sunday he will be fit,” Hodgson added.

“We are vulnerable tomorrow if we get some injuries because we won’t have much chance to call anyone up to replace the injured players, especially at this time of year when many players have gone on holiday.

“I’m happy it’s a tightly knit group and it’s players that I want to see play and I’m not therefore under that sort of moral obligation to have a big squad.”

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