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Baines No Longer Cole's Understudy

Ashley Cole is no longer the first choice left-back for England according to his national manager Roy Hodgson.

The Chelsea full-back has made 105 caps for the Three Lions and has been a fixture in the England starting line-up since 2001.

The 32 year old though has seen his place in the England team go to former understudy Leighton Baines of Everton and Hodgson believes the two players are now on level pegging.

The England manager has confirmed that Cole will start in the friendly against Germany on Tuesday after Baines played at Wembley on Friday in their 2-0 defeat, and has stated that neither player can claim to be the number one left-back in the country.

"You could say that, if you want, yeah. They're both very good players and I'm happy with both of them,” Hodgson said.

"There may come a time in the future as we play our first game in Brazil (at the World Cup) where they're both fit, both anxious to play, I need to pick what I think is my best team, and I have to choose between them.”

"But that isn't the case here in November. That day will come in June and until then, I'll hopefully keep them both playing well and playing for England,” he added.

"I'll push forward the decision as to who is actually the number one and who's the number two until I really have to," the England manager concluded.


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