Roy Hodgson speaks to TheFA.com about his latest squad selection and the next two games
England manager Roy Hodgson is hoping he can keep a stable squad together over the next few weeks as the race for Brazil 2014 heats up.
The Three Lions face Moldova and Ukraine next month as their Group H campaign draws to a close, with World Cup destiny still in their own hands.
And Hodgson picked his squad for the first of two double-headers on Tuesday afternoon knowing that they need to make the most of home advantage, starting with Moldova at Wembley on 6 September.
He told TheFA.com: “It’s a very important few weeks and a very tight group.
“We’re lucky to have three of those matches at home and I’m just hoping that the squad I’ve selected will be with us during the four games and the players will stay fit and be available because it looks very strong on paper.
“The belief will be there and the spirit will be there, along with the desire and the wanting to do well - that’s a given.
“But it’s a question of whether you can repeat the quality of the performance in creating chances, take those chances and defending well when you’ve lost the ball.”
With Everton midfielder Ross Barkley receiving a first senior call-up and Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling joining up again after featuring for the Under-21s, Hodgson also hopes to see his players happy to embrace their interchange between the two squads.
After taking charge of the Young Lions earlier this month prior to Gareth Southgate’s appointment, Hodgson saw the squad at close quarters and oversaw an impressive 6-0 win over Scotland.
He added: “I hope that they don’t see it as moving up and down, I’d like these players to consider themselves as Under-21s and every now and again get a chance to come in and impress enough that they can hopefully stay there.
“I expect them to consider themselves players who are in the Under-21 squad, but if they’re lucky enough and playing well they may get a chance in the senior.That’s how it should be.”
Hodgson has also rewarded Tottenham midfielder Andros Townsend with a first senior call-up after his impressive form for Tottenham Hotspur in the opening weeks of the season.
He said: "Andros has done well since the start of the season and also last term when he went on loan to Queens Park Rangers and made a big effort in trying to help keep them up.
“Raheem has had one very brief outing with us in Sweden before but he impressed me enormously in the Under-21 game when I worked with him in the build-up to that game.”
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