Roy Hodgson reflects on World Cup qualification and what it now means for England
England boss Roy Hodgson
says he has plenty to ponder regarding his World Cup squad as he has been impressed with everyone from senior players to rising stars.
The Three Lions clinched their place at next summer's tournament in Brazil after beating Poland at Wembley
on Tuesday night.
Hodgson's men did the business shortly after Gareth Southgate's Under-21s also impressed during a 5-0 rout of Lithuania
in their own qualifying campaign.
And Hodgson says he has a strong pool of players to choose from for next summer's extravaganza, with places up for grabs in his squad.
"There is no doubt that the young players are exciting," he admits. "They are our future but for success in the tournament itself, we will need the likes of Gerrard, Lampard, Rooney and all these guys.
"It would be nice to have the problem of who I leave out.
"There are so many unknowns at the moment but the young players are in my thoughts. I will have a very tough job on my hands (to choose the squad).
"There are a lot of young players coming through and one always welcomes heavy knocks on the doors from youngsters.
"Daniel Sturridge has been excellent for Liverpool as has Danny Welbeck playing for Manchester United and Andros Townsend and Kyle Walker at Tottenham - long may it continue.
"Ravel Morrison has done ever so well in his games and Saido Berahino and Ross Barkley has been very impressive as well."
Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard scored against Poland to ensure England avoided the play-offs on Tuesday night and Hodgson said: "I did seem to glance up at the clock several times, that's for sure.
"I'm sure any coach or manager will agree, but in any game you go 1-0 up, you want the referee to blow the whistle.
"We played so well in the first half and created so many chances, but we got such scant reward with just one goal.
"In the second half you find yourself in that somewhat difficult position. To what extent do you hang on and try to keep a cleansheet?
"Or do you go hell for leather for the second goal that will make us safe?"
The draw for the World Cup groups is on Friday 6 December and in terms of preparations for Brazil, Hodgson added: "I suppose I should sleep better after the game (against Poland) and achieving our goal.
"I think in one respect the answer is yes (in terms of preparing now) but it is a long way off. We can't really start any detailed planning until 6 December."