Hodgson happy with Barkley and Shaw

21 March 2015 02:16

Roy Hodgson had no hesitation including Ross Barkley and Luke Shaw in his latest England squad despite the pair's recent poor form.

Barkley was seen as the brightest young attacking talent in the England squad in the build up to the World Cup.

He was the first man off the bench when things were going wrong against Italy and Uruguay in Brazil. And just a few months ago, Hodgson paid Barkley the ultimate compliment for any young English midfielder when he compared him to Paul Gascoigne.

This season has not quite gone to plan for the 21-year-old though and the same can be said for Shaw, who has started just 11 Premier League games since his £28million transfer to Manchester United.

Hodgson has not lost any faith in the duo, though. The 67-year-old coach thinks they can play a big part in England's Euro 2016 campaign and that is why he is thinking of playing both of them in the upcoming games against Lithuania and Italy.

"Barkley certainly could (play), just as everyone who is in there is capable of playing," Hodgson said.

"I would have to add Luke Shaw's name to that as well because he's in a similar situation as Ross Barkley.

"Sometimes it's important that when you believe in people and you think they do have the potential and the quality that you're looking for as players it's important not to jettison them at the first opportunity or the first time they lose their place in the team or if they're going through a rougher patch.

"If I think these guys could be very important in 2016, now is the time to show that confidence in them if you like."

Provided they get through this weekend's fixtures, Shaw and Barkley will meet up with their England team-mates at St George's Park on Monday.

On Friday England host Lithuania in a Euro 2016 qualifier at Wembley and four days later the squad travel to Turin for a glamour friendly against the nation that defeated them in their opening World Cup match.

Hodgson thinks a week away from Everton and United may suit Barkley and Shaw.

"Maybe coming away to a different environment, coming to somewhere where the pressure's off a little bit, to be the first name on the first team sheet, training players they don't know so well, maybe it could even help them," he said.

"I think I'm pretty sure that Roberto (Martinez) and Louis (van Gaal) will be more than happy that I'm taking them with us and not lost faith in them and sent them back to the under-21s."

Source: PA