Roy's San Marino preview
Thursday, 11 October, 2012
Manager speaks on San Marino selection and awarding the captaincy to Wayne Rooney
England Manager Roy Hodgson has urged his side to put on a show for the 90,000 fans flocking to Wembley to watch the Three Lions in action against San Marino on Friday.
Hodgson's men have started the road to the 2014 World Cup with four points from two games so far.
And Hodgson wants his side to continue on their path to Brazil with a rousing performance against San Marino in front of a sold-out Wembley.
He said: "It is magnificent and goes to show two things - one how fantastic the support for national team football is in this country and two, how lucky we are to have an arena that holds 90,000.
"To have that many people who want to come and watch us play, even though on this occasion it's not the opponents who are attracting them but our players, we are very happy with that and we are concerned not to let them down and do a good job. We have been working towards that."
But Hodgson would not be drawn on naming his potential line-up for the match, aside from the fact that Wayne Rooney will be leading out the Three Lions as captain.
He added: "I haven't spoken to the players about the team, but I guess Wayne Rooney knows he is starting the game as he is sitting alongside me as captain of the team.
"He will back me up when I say that I haven't told any other players who will be playing and who won't be playing, so I'm afraid that although I've got a pretty good idea in my own mind what I'm going to do, I can't divulge that until I've spoken to the players.
"It might be a question of utilising the squad in a different way, as we have an important game in Poland on Tuesday but all of my thoughts this week have been on how best to use the squad knowing that really, whichever team I choose, we will rightly be able to win this game.
"How many players I will spare and keep fit and fresh for the game on Tuesday is the decision that has to be made and one that I've given a lot of thought to."
Hodgson was also pleased to have Rooney back in the squad and available for selection again and with regular captain Steven Gerrard out suspended, he made the decision to award the armband to him for the first time in a competitive match.
"I am really pleased about that (having Rooney back) and I've enjoyed working with Wayne," he revealed.
"We were at the Euros and I enjoyed working with him there and it was a big disappointment when he got that terrible gash which we thought would keep him out of the October games.
"But luckily he made a very quick recovery and now he's available to captain the team in the first game."