Paul Ince has called on SvenGoran Eriksson to hand Rio Ferdinand a midfield holding role with England following the Manchester United man's outstanding display at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Ferdinand was pressed into emergency service alongside Wayne Rooney in the engine room after Sir Alex Ferguson decided Alan Smith was not fit enough to start United's comfortable 3-0 FA Cup triumph.
Ince was impressed by the former West Ham defender's efforts in the fourth-round tie and has called on Eriksson, who witnessed a one-sided encounter, to solve the dilemma over which two to play in central defence from Ferdinand, John Terry and Sol Campbell by installing the United man as his mid-field enforcer.
Ince said: "I have always said Rio is a fantastic player and he could do that holding role for England. I know there is a question mark over who is going to play centre-half but Rio is good enough to play in that position (midfield) and Sven should be looking at that because the lad is awesome."
Ferguson was impressed enough by Ferdinand's performance to consider naming him alongside Rooney again on Wednesday when United play a Premiership match at Blackburn. He said: "It is possible I could play them in there on Wednesday because both did very well."
Ferguson added: "I am pleased with the result because we were expecting a very difficult game.
"We have seen videos of Wolves' last three games and they have been doing well. But we got a dream start, scored at the right times and did well in the end."
Ferguson said of Richardson: "Kieran has been doing terrifically well for us. In fact, in the last two games he has probably been one of our best players. He is only 21 and is improving all the time."
Wolves manager Glenn Hoddle said: "The last thing we wanted to do against United was concede an early goal but if we had got to half time just one goal down, it could have been a real cuptie. The second goal was a poor one to concede and killed us off really.
"Now we have 16 games left to secure our main aim, which is promotion."