VIDEO: Roy relishing first test
by Marc Isaacs
Friday, 25 May, 2012
New England Manager can't wait to get his reign underway.
Roy Hodgson admits it will be a proud moment in his career when he takes charge of his first England game on Saturday night and says he has already been impressed with the players as they prepare for the European Championship.
Hodgson met up with his squad for the first time this week and is relishing the chance to see them in action when they face Norway in Oslo.
It is straight down to business for the new England Manager as the Euro Finals get underway in just two weeks' time and he is hoping to stamp his authority on the side in the next two friendlies.
Hodgson confirmed that Steven Gerrard
will play alongside Scott Parker
in the heart of the England midfield, while Andy Carroll
will start upfront for the Three Lions and Robert Green
will be in goal.
Hodgson said: "It will be a very proud moment. I am excited. It will be interesting to see what these players can do.
"It will be a very important step along the way and the chance to see players in action.
"We have important players missing but this is the test we want. We are facing top class opposition and hopefully we won't be surprised when we arrive in the Ukraine."
Hodgson admits he has been impressed by the attitude the players have shown since meeting up in Manchester on Wednesday.
Although the likes of John Terry
, Ashley Cole
, Frank Lampard
and Wayne Rooney
have yet to meet up with the squad, Hodgson has been excited by what he has witnessed in the last two training sessions.
Hodgson added: "We are in good shape. I have been impressed with the enthusiasm they have brought to the training sessions. We are missing a third of the squad and have yet to see in action.
"But the ones I have worked with - my first impression of this group is a very good one."
Hodgson was also full of sympathy of Norwich 'keeper John Ruddy
, who was forced to withdraw from the squad and will miss the Euro Finals after breaking a finger in training on Thursday.
Hodgson added: "It really was unlucky for us. To break a finger in the goalkeeping work was unfortunate for him. It will heal before the start of the season but there was no chance of taking him.
"It gives a chance to Jack Butland
who cut short his holiday in Mexico and will go to Poland instead."