Gianfranco Zola admits it would have been 'very selfish' to have asked injured striker Carlton Cole to pull out of the England squad.
Cole will miss the next six weeks of West Ham United's push for a European spot after aggravating a groin injury during England's friendly win over Slovakia last weekend.
The forward was carrying a minor groin complaint when he linked up with Fabio Capello's squad and Zola was worried the problem would become worse.
However, the Hammers boss has revealed that he would never ask one of his players to withdraw from international duty due to the importance of playing for your country.
"I would never pull someone out of an international squad," Zola said. "I know how important it was for him to go with the national team.
"It would have been very selfish if I had told him to pull out. I could have caused even more damage.
"I can only compare to how important it was for me to play for the national team.
"You are playing for your country and I don't think in football there is a bigger achievement than that."