Roy Hodgson: Switzerland game an early tester for Euros

Monday 07 Sep 2015
England boss Roy Hodgson in training on Monday

With England now assured of their place at Euro 2016 manager Roy Hodgson wants his team to lay down a marker for next summer against Switzerland at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday night.

The top two teams in each group qualify automatically for the Finals in France and Hodgson expects his former charges Switzerland to join England across the Channel.

England v Switzerland

UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier
Wembley Stadium connected by EE
7.45pm, Tuesday 8 September 2015
Live on ITV1
Buy tickets online

And Hodgson, whose team are unbeaten in 11 matches, believes preparations for aiming to end a 50-year wait to win a major international trophy begin on Tuesday.

"With them also basically qualified it is going to be the two teams that might possibly meet up again in France, this is an early tester in relation to that," Hodgson told the press after his squad of 21, minus Michael Carrick following his return to Manchester United, trained on Monday morning.

"We will take the game very seriously. We would dearly love to put on a great performance at Wembley and we would dearly love to win the game.

Wayne Rooney and Roy Hodgson press

"How well we do in France will depend upon the year ahead. How well we continue what we see as an improvement in our performances, our style of play and the way we work together.

"It will depend on the mentality of the players, because going into tournaments it's knockout stuff, not a league like the qualification period is. If you lose the first game for whatever reason, immediately you are on the back foot and life becomes very difficult.

"One thing I know we will do is be as well-prepared as possible, to leave no stone unturned. We will be making sure when the players go into the first game they will feel ready and capable of achieving what the nation would like to see us achieve."

As part of England's continued preparations for the Finals they are set to travel to Alicante to play reigning European champions Spain in November, before welcoming France to Wembley in the last match of 2015.

Captain Wayne Rooney believes those fixtures will be the acid test to judge where England stand on the European stage.

And he hopes his team can go into those games having ended their qualification campaign with 10 wins from 10.

"Spain and France are two tough games, two very good teams and a good challenge for us to test ourselves," he said.

"As a team we're looking forward to those games and it would be good for us to see where we are at playing against those two."

Rooney controls

Wayne Rooney controls the ball in training

While winning the game is top of Rooney's agenda, he is also keen to bag the goal that will surpass Sir Bobby Charlton's all-time record of 49 to and leave him as the top marksman in England's history.

But the 29-year-old is confident he will keep scoring for his country beyond the current landmark figure. 

"I feel I've still got quite a few games left to play for England, so to say I just want to get 50 goals, I'd be lying and I'd be disappointed if I ended up on 50 goals," said Rooney.

"I want to kick on and try and score as many as I can. Hopefully by the time I have finished playing there would be more goals than 50."

Harry Kane

Harry Kane battles for the ball in Monday's session

Hodgson has confirmed he will make changes to his side that beat San Marino 6-0 on Saturday. 

And though midfielder Carrick will be missing with a calf injury, he believes there is enough strength in depth to keep faith with the 4-3-3 system that has served him so well in throughout the qualifying campaign.

"There are other options for us," Hodgson added. "Fabian Delph played well in the game [v San Marino], we have Ryan Mason, we have James Milner who is capable of playing in other positions. 

"We have options in that area without radically changing our system of players."

The Three Lions can clinch top spot in Group E on Tuesday night with a draw against Switzerland at Wembley.

Tickets for the game are still available, click here to buy online.