Hodgson hopes to restore faith

02 September 2014 05:01

Roy Hodgson is well aware of the need to bring back the "feel-good factor" when England kick off a new era against Norway.

A new-look side led by a new captain, Wayne Rooney, have been charged with getting the Three Lions back on track nine weeks on from bombing out of the World Cup at the first hurdle.

The disappointment of that failure in Brazil will be underlined by the plethora of empty seats at Wembley on Wednesday, when the lowest attendance since the stadium opened in 2007 is expected for the friendly with Norway.

All the talk of a new beginning has clearly not appeased fans and Hodgson knows it is now up to his players to prove it on the pitch.

"We've only been together since Sunday evening, but we seem to have crammed an awful lot into that period of time with our meetings and with our training sessions," he said on the eve of the match.

"I certainly get the feeling that the players can't wait, really, to kick off this new campaign and kick it off with an important and quite difficult game at Wembley.

"I am confident that the players are really ready to go and of course now it's all a question of when they cross the white line and the referee blows his whistle because all the talking in the world doesn't help you. It is what you do the field that counts."

After a friendly against Norway - ranked 53rd in the world - comes the start of England's European Championship qualifiers in Switzerland.

Monday's match in Basel may well prove their toughest of Group E, although back-to-back victories would certainly improve the national mood.

"There are things you can't guarantee and wanting it doesn't guarantee you are going to get it," Hodgson said.

"Of course, we would all very, very much like to get two good results now, starting with tomorrow night and get that feel-good factor.

"We're also still aware that the two-year journey is a longish one, one that you'll see an awful lot of changes within the team and in terms of the way the team plays and plays together.

"A lot of these players won't have played together particularly and a lot of them will be very, very new in their international careers.

"As time goes on, those things will improve, of course, but I can't disagree that this will be a good time to get two good results, two good performances and to show everyone my faith in the team is justified."

Hodgson is planning to field a "young team" against Norway, although revealed none of the four uncapped players in the 22-man squad will start.

While Calum Chambers, Fabian Delph and Danny Rose may get a chance off the bench, Jack Colback will have to wait.

The Newcastle midfielder will be available for the Switzerland match but a knock rules him out of the Wembley encounter, where he could be joined on the sidelines by Danny Welbeck.

Having secured a £16million deadline-day move from Manchester United, the Arsenal new boy took a knock in training on the eve of the game to put his participation in doubt.

"We are happy for Danny he felt the move might lead to more regular football and that will only be to our advantage and we think or hope he will be ready to start,'' Hodgson said.

"But unfortunately in training today he did manage to receive a knock in the session, but I have been assured he is okay and that it will not rule him out, but obviously I suppose it could happen.

"I would be very disappointed if he could not play tomorrow because of what happened with the last kick of the session."

Source: PA