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Hodgson excited about future

15 Oct 2012 18:19:45

Hodgson excited about future

Roy Hodgson believes the senior England players will find if "harder and harder" to hold on to their place because of the rapid development of the younger talent at his disposal.

Hodgson is expected to revert to a more experienced line-up for Tuesday's testing World Cup qualifier against Poland in Warsaw. Skipper Steven Gerrard, Glen Johnson, James Milner, Ashley Cole and Jermain Defoe are all expected to return.

But the likes of Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck, who netted twice against San Marino on Friday, have staked their claim and Hodgson said: "There are some very good young players coming on to the scene and the experienced players will find it harder and harder to fight off the challenge of these younger players."

He added: "I think the turnover of players since the (2010) World Cup was probably necessary. Players can't go on and on. In a country like England, it is good, without having a totally fresh start, that you do start thinking are there alternatives out there, is there a another route we could possibly take to achieve our goals.

"We've started to embark on that route ourselves. There are a lot of younger players either in their teams at the moment or just about to break in who will be important players.

"But it is good when they get a chance to play against Italy, Moldova and San Marino that they don't let the team down and play well enough to make us believe we should keep faith with them, and ask whether we should include them in the first team."

Hodgson admits he does have a few tough decisions to make in terms of his side after the impressive form of left-back Leighton Baines and Welbeck against San Marino.

He said: "It's good to have those decisions. I prefer not to quantify them or put them in any order. But it was very good the players who came in against San Marino, who many people do not see as the first choice, played so well and that does mean you get a bit more of a selection headache."

Hodgson was impressed with stand-in skipper Wayne Rooney against San Marino but hopes Gerrard, who is back from suspension, is available for the foreseeable future to lead his country.

The England head coach said: "It was a fairly obvious choice in Steven's absence and, if he is absent again, Wayne could captain the team again. Frank Lampard captained the team in Italy and could also do it if Steven is absent. But first of all I'm hoping Steven won't be absent that often."


PA

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