Woody tipped for Rio's role

Last updated : 15 January 2004 By Martyn Elliott

Despite being one of, and arguably the, best central defender in England Woodgate has just four caps to his name, with injuries restricting his chances since he joined United and courtroom commitments interfering with his international career while he was at Leeds.

However, with Rio Ferdinand almost certain to miss Euro 2004 because of his impending eight-month suspension (latest press reports suggest that Manchester United won’t support an appeal) Woodgate looks set to get his chance alongside Sol Campbell.

"We have tried to pick Woodgate several times and he's been injured, but he has played very well recently,” said Grip.

"I hope will stay fit as he has struggled with some injuries now and then. If he's going to be fit, then he will be good for us.

"I think that we need four central defenders to go with us to Portugal and Sol Campbell, John Terry and Jonathan Woodgate are three good ones at least."

Can’t help thinking that Matthew Upson won’t have been too happy to read Grip’s comments.