Wilshere backs Hodgson

25 June 2014 03:32

Jack Wilshere insists England's players are fully behind manager Roy Hodgson despite their miserable World Cup campaign in Brazil.

Wilshere and the rest of his England team-mates touched down on home soil on Wednesday following their 0-0 draw with Costa Rica.

Despite a long and expensive preparation period, England failed to win a match during the tournament, making it the worst campaign in their history.

But Wilshere says the players are to blame for the early exit, not Hodgson.

"Yeah, of course. It is not the manager's fault," Wilshere said when asked if the players backed the England manager.

"The manager can pick the team but the players have to go on the pitch and do it.

"Everyone here respects the manager. He has got a fantastic CV and been to World Cups before.

"If anything comes out of this, it is that this manager is the one to take us forward.

"The coaching staff - Gary Neville, Ray Lewington - they are different class. They help us as much as they can. But they can only put you on the pitch and then it's down to us."

Hodgson has the unequivocal backing of the Football Association, who see him as the right man to lead England into Euro 2016.

With question marks hanging over the international futures of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, Wilshere may end up playing a big role in England's Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, which begins against Switzerland in the second week of September.

Wilshere wants England's "grieving process" to be over by then so they can hit the ground running in Basel.

"We have got a big qualifying campaign coming up for the Euros," Wilshere said.

"Football moves on. We will grieve in the next couple of weeks and then we will move on."

Hodgson looked set to give Wilshere a starting role in Brazil after handing the Arsenal midfielder the number seven shirt.

But the 22-year-old only started one match - the dead rubber against Costa Rica.

The Arsenal midfielder will still take a lot from the experience of playing in his first World Cup, even though it was a disappointing one for the team overall.

"I love playing football and if I can play in the World Cup, it is a dream come true," said Wilshere, who now has 20 England caps.

"I have grown up watching these matches and unfortunately it didn't mean anything on Tuesday but still to be involved in a World Cup is a dream come true."

Source: PA