Hodgson backs players after rout
Roy Hodgson feels England Under-21s' performance in their 6-0 rout of Scotland has sent a defiant message to those who have criticised the Three Lions youth set-up.
With both the England Under-20 and Under-21 sides having disappointing tournament campaigns this summer, there have been plenty of questions asked about the development of the country's young players.
Following the under-21s' poor European Championship in Israel - where they were beaten in all three of their games without scoring a goal from open play - their manager Stuart Pearce lost his job, and with the post still vacant, seniors boss Hodgson took charge of the team on a one-off basis for this contest.
He called upon players for the fixture from both the squad that had been in Israel and the under-20s group who managed to register only two points in three matches at their World Cup in Turkey.
And after watching what was subsequently produced in the friendly at Bramall Lane, Hodgson said: "Certainly it has put the statements that English football has no talented players, and that we have nothing coming through, to bed.
"Hopefully a lot of people who have made the bold statements will have seen the performances and they will struggle to tell me that some of those boys out there have got no future, no technique and no ability."
In a game where the Scots appeared capable of putting up little resistance, one of the players from the Israel campaign opened the scoring in the third minute in Nathan Redmond, and after Raheem Sterling (38) made it 2-0, another in Connor Wickham added the Young Lions' third goal five minutes after the break.
There was then a delightful long-range effort from one more of the contingent from the Israel tournament, Jonjo Shelvey, sandwiched between strikes from two substitutes, Ross Barkley - who featured for the Under-20s in Turkey - and Tom Carroll.
Asked if he felt some of the players might have a chance of being involved in the next senior friendly, Hodgson, who has been also getting the full Three Lions squad ready for their clash with Scotland at Wembley on Wednesday, said: "Without a shadow of a doubt.
"They really did take their chances with both hands, and a lot of those players would certainly not be out of place in the senior team - albeit, I must say, from working with the seniors for the last couple of days, I have been pretty impressed with the quality of the technique and the desire and the ambition we have there."
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