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Hodgson primes big guns after Chile setback

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16 Nov 2013 00:31:52

Hodgson primes big guns after Chile setback

England manager Roy Hodgson vowed to restore his first-choice players for Tuesday's friendly against old foes Germany after seeing an experimental line-up beaten 2-0 by Chile at Wembley Stadium.

Hodgson handed debuts to Fraser Forster, Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez, but saw Alexis Sanchez emulate Marcelo Salas's performance at the same venue in 1998 by scoring twice to give Chile victory.

Hodgson said he did not want the newcomers to "beat themselves up too much" after England's first defeat in a year, but he confirmed that his first-choice players would return against Germany.

Asked if Joe Hart would recover his place from Celtic goalkeeper Forster, Hodgson said: "He'll start the game against Germany, as will the bulk of the players who've been playing with us in the qualifiers who didn't play tonight (Friday).

"The good thing is that there'll be a lot of players on Tuesday who didn't play tonight, so they'll be hopefully fresh and hopefully, having watched the game, they'll also be aware how important it's going to be for us to put in a good performance against Germany."

Hodgson expressed admiration for the way that Chile controlled the game and while he was encouraged by Lallana's display, he admitted that the match may have come too soon for his Southampton team-mate Rodriguez.

"Lallana did well in a debut match against good opposition," he said.

"Jay Rodriguez worked hard and he did all the right things, but it was obviously a very, very big ask for him to go and play in that (left-wing) position.

"His opportunity maybe came a bit earlier than he would have liked and probably against opposition a bit stronger than he would have liked.

"But I'm not disappointed with any of them and certainly I wouldn't write any of them off on the basis of that game and the fact that we didn't win that game."

Hodgson also revealed that Manchester United defender Phil Jones had sustained a groin injury that is likely to rule him out of the Germany game, while Rickie Lambert remains doubtful due to a muscular problem.

Sanchez, 24, is enjoying his best spell in a Barcelona shirt, having scored seven goals since the start of the season, and Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli tipped him to make an impact at next year's World Cup.

"It was a memorable performance from him," Sampaoli said.

"I think Alexis Sanchez has got everything it takes to be a real star at the World Cup. He's in a really good vein of form and he showed his class tonight (Friday)."

Chile finished their World Cup qualifying campaign with five wins and a draw and have gone 10 games without defeat ahead of Tuesday's friendly against Brazil in Toronto.

However, Sampaoli said it was too early to make predictions about their chances at the World Cup.

"I wouldn't go as far as to consider us favourites, but what it does show is that we can go and compete with other teams on an equal footing and take control in games against teams who on paper are stronger than us and historically have been stronger than us," he said.


AFP

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