Youngsters have earned their places in squad, says Hodgson

Monday 12 May 2014
Luke Shaw made his England debut against Denmark in March

Roy Hodgson has praised England's young players for forcing their way into his thoughts and into his squad for the 2014 World Cup Finals.

The England manager named seven players aged 23 or under in his squad for next month's Finals in Brazil.

Phil Jones, Luke Shaw, Ross Barkley, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Raheem Sterling and Danny Welbeck are among the youngsters who are in contention to start the Group D fixture against Italy in Manaus and Hodgson took time to reflect upon their exploits at club level this season.

When asked about selecting youngsters in his squad, Hodgson said: "So many players have burst onto the scene since we qualified. They've imposed themselves upon me.

"They've played so well and done so well and been so effective in their club teams and had such success, that I think they've really imposed themselves and their ability on my thinking.

Ross Barkley holds off Sven Bender during England

Ross Barkley has been in outstanding form for Everton


"How do you get experience? By being given the opportunity. Those six who have been to World Cups before, once upon a time, they didn't have experience either. It's a Catch-22 situation."

Hodgson also feels that with the likes of captain Steven Gerrard, vice-captain Frank Lampard and striker Wayne Rooney in his squad, England have the right blend of players.

He added: "I think that the balance is still very good. Glen Johnson, Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines, Joe Hart, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney - all of these players have got plenty of caps between them. So it would be wrong to focus totally on the fact that there are some out there who are young and less experienced."

Rickie Lambert celebrates

Rickie Lambert celebrates his debut goal against Scotland


Southampton's Rickie Lambert was preferred to Andy Carroll, and Hodgson admitted it had been tough to choose between the two strikers.

"Rickie has been with us all throughout the qualifying campaign and I'm delighted to see Andy back in form. It wasn't an easy decision to make but in the end I plumped for Rickie Lambert.

"The four forwards we've selected are very interesting and don't forget that we've got players in that midfield who can score goals.

"Time will tell and my words won't win us any games."

Hodgson is also optimistic about securing success in Brazil.

He said: "Of course, I believe the squad can win the World Cup."

By FA Staff