Roy Hodgson says the experience of Euro 2012 will help England's young players
insists England’s young players must use the experience they gained in the European Championship as a spur to qualify for the 2014 World Cup
The Three Lions boasted a host of raw talent in their ranks for the Poland and Ukraine showpiece, including Danny Welbeck
, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
and Andy Carroll
England Manager Hodgson’s decision to blood the young players saw the team reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 before they suffered a penalty shootout exit to Italy
But he is adamant his new breed of emerging talent can fire up the veteran members of his squad and spearhead the side’s march towards Brazil in two years’ time.
Speaking at UEFA’s National Coaches Forum, Hodgson said: “The experience from the Euros will stand the young players in good stead.
“We had a lot of young players who had virtually no international experience - some even came off the back of a season where they hardly played for their clubs.
“Carroll didn't play many games with Liverpool until right at the very end, Welbeck hadn't played many matches for Manchester United and Oxlade-Chamberlain had hardly played for Arsenal.
“So in relation to the team, which was a mix of some very experienced and talented senior players, there were a lot of young ones who I think will gain enormously from that tournament experience.
“The other good thing for me was that the senior players – the likes of Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole – all enjoyed the tournament as much as they enjoyed playing in previous tournaments.
“They've retained their hunger and their appetite for going to the next one.
“Wayne Rooney of course would be another good example to name in that group of players.”
Hodgson had just six weeks to prepare for the Euros after taking charge of England in May.
However, he lost several players though injury prior to the tournament kicking off, including Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry and Jack Wilshere.
But despite leading the side to the last eight, Hodgson admits his players have room for improvement.
He said: “I don't think that we were at our best. The loss of some key players obviously affected us because experience and ability is what it's all about, especially at the level of football we were playing at.
“I don't think we played anything like as well as an England team could play.
“But on the other hand we did show a lot of other very good English qualities.
“The team spirit, the work rate, the determination, the desire to throw your body in the way of the ball to make certain the team got a result, that was absolutely top class.
“But I'd like to think that we can play a little bit better as well.
“That’s something that we need to now have as a main focus of our attention going forward, without actually losing what qualities that saw us get to the quarter-finals and a penalty shootout away from the semi-finals.”
Hodgson added: “Going into the Euros, my major concern was making certain that the environment was right, that the players felt comfortable, that they were happy to be there, that they wanted to represent their country and to do their best for their country.
“I think I can be very happy with what we achieved in that respect.
“But I know if you ask the players they would agree with me – yes, that side of it was fine, but let's hope we can get to the next tournament because then we will show the world that we are an even better football team than we showed during this last one.”
Next up for England in their 2014 World Cup Qualifying campaign is San Marino at Wembley on 12 October. Tickets for the game are still available, click here to buy online.