Euro 2012: Roy Hodgson hails 'warrior' John Terry
Euro 2012: France v England
- Venue: Donbass Arena, Donetsk
- Date: Monday, 11 June
- Kick-off: 17:00 BST
Coverage: ITV, BBC Radio 5 live, highlights on BBC One from 19:00 BST and BBC Sport website
England manager Roy Hodgson is convinced "warrior" John Terry is in the perfect frame of mind to justify his selection for Euro 2012.
Chelsea captain Terry was selected ahead of Manchester United centre-half Rio Ferdinand in the most contentious decision made by new boss Hodgson when he picked his 23-man squad for Poland and Ukraine.
Terry's season ended in mixed emotions as he was forced to watch from the sidelines serving a suspension as Chelsea finally won the Champions League by beating Bayern Munich on penalties.
But Hodgson delivered strong public support to the former England skipper as they prepare to face France in their opening Euro 2012 game against France in Donetsk's Donbass Arena.
"Only time will tell, but early impressions suggest Hodgson has already forged a tight-knit group able to ignore the outside influences of the continuing debate about Rio Ferdinand's non-selection"
Hodgson said: "John's coming in off the back of another very good season with Chelsea, especially towards the end. He played a major part in getting Chelsea to the Champions League final, although he couldn't play his part in it."
Terry faces a charge of racially abusing Rio Ferdinand's brother Anton during the Premier League match between QPR and Chelsea at Loftus Road in October. Terry denies the charge and Hodgson has consistently maintained his squad was selected for "footballing reasons".
Hodgson added: "John, like our captain Steven Gerrard, has been involved in very many international matches. They have been involved in tournaments and they have also been involved with their club sides at the very highest level. We all know John's qualities.
"We all know what a good centre-half he is. We all know what a warrior he is and we all know he is capable of taking other players with him, not least his Chelsea team-mate Ashley Cole.
"I'm just hoping John will show all the many qualities I have seen him show over the years in the Premier League and for England. I'm hoping he will show them at this tournament.
"He feels himself that is a great opportunity to show the very best of what he can do."