Roy Hodgson insists the door is still open for Rio Ferdinand to return to the England set-up, but only if he is a certain starter.
The England boss has yet again overlooked the Manchester United defender, despite John Terry's retirement, with Ryan Shawcross drafted in ahead of him for the World Cup qualifying double header against San Marino and Poland.
Hodgson embarrassingly let slip that Ferdinand, 33, wouldn't be in his squad to fellow passengers while travelling on a train in London on Wednesday.
The Three Lions chief regrets his lack of discretion but has assured Ferdinand his international career is not necessarily at the end of the line.
He told talkSPORT: “I’ve tried to get in touch with Rio today. I’m very disappointed that a stray conversation has been reported in that way.
"I didn’t say that Rio's career is over. I might have admitted foolishly that I won’t be picking him in this squad. I’d be disappointed that this could be seen as a lack of respect for Rio as a person and a player.
"I’m sticking to my guns and staying with the players I selected for the Euros and looking very much to the future and it’s not for me to call time on any player's international career.
"The day I do choose him, he will go straight into the team. I don’t think you disrespect players of his ability with the number of games he’s played by asking him to be a squad player."
Hodgson has also reiterated his disappointment that John Terry will no longer be available for selection.
The Chelsea captain quit international duty after claiming the Football Association's decision to take action over allegations of racist abuse had made his position 'untenable'.
“I’ve made my point on him very clear - I regret his decision, I respect his position." said Hodgson.
"He did a very good job for me during the Euros and I thank him for that, but as far as I’m concerned I can do no more than respect his decision, move forward and look at other options available to me.
"My plans to rejuvenate the squad will continue without these two excellent servants of the past."