Andy Cole agrees with Harry Redknapp's England comments

Cole cites pressure as being one of the reasons players may want to pull out.

Former Manchester United and Newcastle United striker Andy Cole has said that Harry Redknapp has a point when it comes to player wanting to get out of England international football matches.

Redknapp caused a bit of a storm when he commented saying that certain players wanted him to make excuses for them to miss international duty, which caused an angry response from England captain Steven Gerrard who called on the former Tottenham Hotspur manager to name names.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I can tell you when I was at Tottenham, when full internationals came around, there were two or three players who did not want to play for England. They would come to me 10 days before the game and say: ‘Gaffer, get me out of that game, I don’t want to play in that game.’"

The current QPR boss subsequently refused to name players saying it would be unfair on them, but Cole has said the pressure of playing for England could be a big factor as to why certain players may have wanted to pull out of international duty.

He's quoted, saying: “I saw that happen a number of times – it’s not uncommon. It’s been around a long time and it could well be the same with other countries as well.

“Who pays your bills? Nine months of the year who do you play for? Your club. So how can you put your country first?

“If you ask any professional player, their bread and butter is their football club and to play for their country is just a bonus.”

Cole does add that everyone should want to play for the country but cites the pressure of the media as the possibly the biggest factor that could players off representing the national side.

He added: “Everyone should want to play for their country but when England lose, the depth the press go into everything is too much – the pressure is far too much.

“It definitely takes the shine off playing for England, it’s tough playing for England, no matter what anyone says, the expectations are far, far too high.”

Whilst it is understandable that players are a bit put off by what they feel is more pressure than is necessary for their national side, comments like that are unlikely to please England fans and some of the players and officials who have been part of the England set-up during this World Cup.

This particular aspect could rumble on given England's incredibly poor showing in Brazil as they only picked up one point from their group games as some will inevitably question the players' passion to play for England amongst other things within the setup.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch