Former England manager Sir Bobby Robson has insisted the fiery clash between title challengers Chelsea and Manchester United should not affect John Terry´s and Rio Ferdinand´s bids to be national team captain.

The pair - who along with Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney are thought to be in the frame to claim the England armband for the long term when coach Fabio Capello makes his decision in August - were involved in angry exchanges at Stamford Bridge.

"The sight of those two towering leaders, John Terry and Rio Ferdinand, squaring up to each other illustrated to me the passion and endeavour of both players," he told the Mail on Sunday. "As a former England manager, I would tell Fabio Capello not to be concerned at all with the brief shoving between them."

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