Hodgson starts considering squad options for France

Monday 07 Sep 2015
Roy Hodgson's team were the first to qualify for Euro 2016

With qualification for Euro 2016 already in the bag, Roy Hodgson says preparations begin now with next summer in mind.

After the win over San Marino on Saturday, England can secure top spot with a draw or a win against Switzerland at Wembley on Tuesday night.

It will then give him two more qualifiers in October, plus a series of friendlies, to ensure he has a squad capable of competing at the Finals.

England v Switzerland

UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier
7.45pm, Tuesday 8 September
Wembley Stadium connected by EE
Click here for tickets

Without a number of key players available for this get-together, such as Jack Wilshere, Jordan Henderson, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck - who scored the match-winning brace away in Switzerland last year - Hodgson wants to make sure he has capable cover options in case they are needed in June.

"Welbeck has already been out for me since March and for Arsenal since April," said Hodgson. 

"I can only hope that Danny recovers a bit quicker and then hits the ground running. Daniel [Sturridge] is a little bit the same. It's getting on for a year now. 

"They are always in my thoughts because I think they're very good players and they did extremely well when they were playing in the national team I was coaching. 

"But I've got to make certain there are a few Vardys, Kanes and Walcotts, because we can't keep going around talking about the ones who aren't there." 

He continued: "Jack was fantastic against Slovenia and was one of the players who actually had a good game against Ireland, so when he goes down injured, we're thinking that's a blow to us because we think he's doing a good job. 

"But it's nice to have Michael Carrick back and it's nice that Jonjo Shelvey showed what he can do.

"We've got to be quite sanguine about it and we mustn't start thinking 'when this one comes back, we'll be better still'. We can't do that, we've got to make sure we're good with the ones who are playing."

Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson looks on during a sunny evening in San Marino

If England beat Switzerland on Tuesday, they will meet back together next month to wrap up their Group E campaign with an opportunity to be the only team to qualify with a 100 per cent record.

But Hodgson admits that, if they have already won the group, the games against Estonia at Wembley and away in Lithuania may give him a chance to try out a few other ideas.

Then with friendly fixtures against France, Germany and Spain in the pipeline during the build-up to the Finals, it will enable the Three Lions to try-out against top nations who will also be gunning for glory next summer.

"The real blessing is the October fixtures," said the manager. "They are two qualifiers – they are the ones which count. 

Harry Kane and Jonjo Shelvey

Kane and Shelvey linked up for England's fifth in San Marino

"We are pretty interested in those two matches in November. France, who I think are a really good team at the moment, we're playing them at Wembley, and Spain, we're playing them somewhere in Spain. 

"If I wanted to now, I could give one or two players a rest in the October qualifiers. Hopefully, one point on Tuesday night we will have won the group as well."

Hodgson added: "It would be nice for me to say [to some new players] 'look, get out there, I'm trusting you, give me a few headaches because I'm resting these ones who have been playing all the time – give them something to think about when they watch your performance'. 

"It would be a nice headache."

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.

By Jamie Bradbury FA Editor at the England team hotel