Young players are knocking down the door says Hodgson

Monday 28 Apr 2014
Roy Hodgson says selecting a squad for the World Cup is harder than for Euro 2012

Roy Hodgson says England's young players are 'knocking the door down' for a place in his World Cup squad.

The Three Lions boss has been impressed by the impact in the Premier League of a number of youngsters and believes their claims for a place on the plane to Brazil will only strengthen England's cause.

Hodgson was speaking to former England striker Ian Wright on his Absolute Radio show, and admitted his job of picking 23 for the summer is tougher than for the Euros two years ago.

Roy Hodgson at England Training

Roy Hodgson has got to know players since 2012


"What young players normally do is knock on the door and perhaps peek their head around the corner and maybe give the more experienced players something to worry a little bit about," said Hodgson. 

"But that's not the case with our young players, they've knocked the door down, they are right in there amongst it.

"It's made the choice much greater, it's made the job of choosing much harder. I think it makes a stronger squad as well because there will be a lot of players in there who, if they get given the chance, will realise that they've got to grasp it."

Hodgson took charge of England just a few weeks prior to the Euopean Championship in 2012, but says he feels in a much better position having been through a tough qualification campaign with the players.

"We have an interesting squad of players and a much younger squad - when I do select it - than I took to Poland and Ukraine.

"Choosing the 23 and the seven players on standby - we have to submit 30 in early May - has been much harder this time than it perhaps was last time.

"I feel much more comfortable now, I feel that I know the players much better, not least from the games I get to watch and study them, but also from working with them.

"I think that's when you learn the most - it's one thing to see someone playing from way, way up in the stands, it's another thing to be on the training field with them everyday and be on the touchline when they play.


“They've knocked the door down, they are right in there amongst it.”

Roy Hodgson England Manager


"That's when you really get to know the players as you also find out about them as people and characters. And that's important for us."

Hodgson says World Cup fever is beginning to take hold and he's looking forward to getting started against Italy in Manaus on 14 June.

Having managed Switzerland at USA '94, he knows what to expect from the tournament, but now being in charge of his own nation - and in Brazil - the excitement is really building. 

"Perhaps more now than in '94 when I was at the World Cup with Switzerland, it has been brought home to me even more the importance of it.

"Of course it's a bit different as well when you're managing your own country, there's always going to be some extra spice involved.

Roy Hodgson walks along the pitch at Arena Amazonia

Roy Hodgson checks out the Arena Amazonia in Manaus

 "Furthermore, taking place in Brazil, which is such an iconic football place, things have knitted neatly in place so I'm really looking forward to it and looking forward to seeing what we can do."

He added: "It feels great [to be going to the World Cup], it was a great campaign, not an easy one and I always knew it wouldn't be because I had a lot of respect for the teams in our group.

"We came through that reasonably well in the end, unbeaten, but there were plenty of games along the way that weren't easy for us and we had to do our share of suffering.

"But it was all for the good cause. We knew that if we did get through we'd have a fantastic tournament to look forward to.

"Now it's getting closer you get the feeling everyone is so much behind us, the mood in the country is great.

"We feel we are going into the tournament with the right attitude, not only from the team and the staff but the general attitude of the public."

You can listen to the full interview again via the Absolute Radio website, click here.

England's next game - their final match on home soil before heading to the World Cup - is at Wembley Stadium against Peru on Friday 30 May. For tickets, click here.

By Jamie Bradbury FA Editor