Club England Managing Director says Olympic spirit can help England team.
Adrian Bevington insists the euphoric feeling sweeping the nation following Team GB’s Olympic exploits can boost the England team.
The Three Lions take on Italy at the Stade de Suisse Wankdorf in Berne on Wednesday in one of 35 international matches.
Roy Hodgson’s squad boasts six potential debutants, with the likes of Tottenham duo Steven Caulker and Jake Livermore as well as Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley all in contention to start.
And Club England Managing Director Bevington reckons London 2012 can act as a huge inspiration to Hodgson’s party. He said: “It’s important that we build on the whole euphoric feeling the country has got following the Olympics.
“Of course it’s always important to try and win the game but there’s a lot more to take from this.
“There are a lot of people in that squad who have an opportunity to impose themselves on the international stage so let’s hope that they can do that and take something from it.”
Chelsea pair Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill and Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy all return to the squad after missing Euro 2012 through injury and Bevington claims the mix of youth and experience in the 23-man group will provide Hodgson with plenty of food for thought ahead of the start of the team’s World Cup qualifying campaign next month.
He added: “Roy has spoken to a lot of the club managers and explained his thinking around the squad selection to them.
“He’s mixed the squad up with players who missed out on the Euros with injuries – the likes of Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill – but also freshened it up with six potential new caps.
“All the other countries are playing in the world tonight as well, so we’ve got to take the international dates like everyone else and see what we can get from it going into a World Cup campaign.”
Michael Carrick is another player returning to the international fold after performing a U-turn on his decision to call time on his England career and Bevington admits he cannot wait to see the Manchester United ace back in a Three Lions shirt. He said: “There was never any animosity with Michael. I have a very good relationship with Michael and his agent.
“I was approached at the turn of the year where it was explained to me that at that particular stage in his career – having not really figured in too many England teams over a long period of time – Michael did not want to be considered at that particular moment.
“That was reaffirmed when Stuart Pearce was the Manager and immediately before the squad was announced for the finals when Roy was in charge, that message was conveyed once again.
“Roy has made it clear he is a great advocate of the abilities Michael has. He has always been a tremendously loyal England player – he’s turned up for over a decade and often been overlooked when he’s been in the squad.
“But Roy and Gary Neville have spoken to him since and he’s now with us and moving forward with us as long as it plays out now – there’s no conditions on that.”
Bevington also explained what The FA is doing to improve the relationship between English football’s governing body and the players themselves.
Speaking on the Alan Brazil Breakfast Show on TalkSPORT, he added: “It is absolutely crucial we have an environment here amongst the team where one the players want to come and play for England – that they enjoy reporting, that it’s a happy environment for them and that they can be freed up to play to the maximum of their ability.
“That’s something Roy did a lot around the Euros – we talked to the players more from than we’ve ever done before from The FA's side of things.
“We have a responsibility there and are very good in terms of organising the logistics but we have to make sure we are communicating better as an organisation with the players and getting closer with them so they can feel closer to us.
“We’ve got to make sure they enjoy playing for England and hopefully freer performances will come from that. We want to learn from things we’ve seen at the Olympics – the most fantastic performances that have lifted everybody.
“The dedication from those athletes but also the high performance management that’s gone into that over a four year cycle. What can we take from that in football?
“Not everything is transferable but there are certain things that can be transferred across from the elite programmes that are being put in place.”