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Nov 10, 2011

Jones hails 'great leader' Terry

Manchester United defender Phil Jones has hailed John Terry as a "great leader and captain", and says the Chelsea skipper's presence in the England squad has not proved disruptive.

Jones: John Terry a great leader

• England vs Spain preview
• Jolly: Capello seeking right answer

Terry is currently being investigated by both the FA and Metropolitan Police for allegedly aiming a racist comment at Anton Ferdinand last month.

He was included in the England party for the upcoming matches with Spain and Sweden, although he is not expected to play any part against the world champions, with Fabio Capello keen to blood younger players.

Despite the potential distractions Terry is facing at present, Jones has backed Capello's decision to call him up. "It has been as normal," he said. "There has been a great team spirit in the camp and we are just looking forward to the game on Saturday. He's a great leader and a great captain and a great player."

However, Jones was caught off guard by the decision to exclude Rio Ferdinand, his Manchester United team-mate and the brother of Anton. "It's surprising," he said. "Let's not kid ourselves. He's a fantastic leader, a fantastic player. He's got a lot of experience so hopefully he can push his way back into the [England] set-up again."

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart, another member of the squad, also said he expected Micah Richards to be selected. Richards has arguably been the Premier League's most impressive right-back this season, performing with distinction for table-topping City.

Asked if he was surprised that Richards was overlooked, Hart said: "Yeah, but it's not up to me to pick the squads. If it was, my friends from school would be playing. Micah's been absolutely fantastic, he's given everything and I'm really proud of how he's done for Manchester City.

"He captained us against QPR... it's just unfortunate he's not in this squad, but he won't take it to heart. He'll keep on playing well and pushing to be in the squad."