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Ferdinand: Youth key ahead of 2014 World Cup

The 33-year-old was left out of Roy Hodgson’s 23-man squad for the European finals in Poland and Ukraine, with the England boss believing better options were available.

With England failing to exceed expectations and falling at the quarter-final stage against Italy, Ferdinand believes it is time England use the youngsters to their potential and is impressed with the development of Red Devils team-mate Danny Welbeck and Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

"Expectations for the country for the first time in years were low, so the pressure eased off the lads in terms of expecting to win the tournament," he told Sky Sports.

"As a fan you want them to go as far as possible so it was unfortunate.

"The manager now has two years and hopefully we can improve but you can see positives in the likes of Danny Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

"I think it is about young players who will be introduced and it will be good to see them go on and have responsibility in the team."

By Matt Maltby