Squad won’t let us down, says England boss Roy Hodgson

Wednesday 20 Apr 2016
England manager Roy Hodgson and Football Association CEO Martin Glenn at a recent FA event

Roy Hodgson says he expects to select a squad full of freshness and optimism when he decides who will represent England at EURO 2016.

The Three Lions coach will announce his 23-man party for this summer’s finals in France on Thursday 12 May.

Key pre-EURO 2016 dates

Thursday 12 May: Squad named
Wednesday 18 May: Squad links up
Sunday 22 May: England v Turkey
Friday 27 May: England v Australia
Thursday 2 June: England v Portugal
Monday 6 June: Squad departs for France


Speaking on Wednesday at the latest in a series of media briefings ahead of the tournament, Hodgson backed what he expects to be a youthful squad.

“I don’t think that the team and the group of players we have got now will in any way let myself, the coaching staff or the country down,” he said.

“I fully believe they will go there (France) and perform at the level we think they can perform at and we have seen they can perform at.

“I think we will be well-prepared for this tournament, I really do. The players will have certain freshness about them.

“It is a young squad – I think that is advantage because, when you have had a lot of failures about you, it does weigh on you.

“We are, at the moment, in a situation where all they are getting is praise and no one can point out that two years back you failed. We can only hope that will lead us to a good tournament.”

England's three goalscorers in Germany have not played at a senior international tournament

For many of the players Hodgson selects this summer, EURO 2016 will be their first senior international tournament – something which does not apply to the England boss himself, of course.

This will be the third finals Hodgson has led the Three Lions into, after EURO 2012 and the 2014 World Cup, while he also took charge of Switzerland at the 1994 World Cup and EURO 96.

And the coach hopes his level of experience will benefit England – although he remains acutely aware of the unpredictable nature of tournament football.

“I would like to think we have learned a lot from the two previous tournaments we have been at,” he affirmed. “I would like to think that, going forward and preparing for this one, it has put us in a slightly better position.

“There will be things that happen in the tournament that I will be able to think back to the past and other tournaments and I will be able to make better decisions than we would have been able to do if it were my first tournament.

“But of course I don’t know about refereeing decisions, I don’t know if Dele Alli’s going to chip over and hit the post when he has just dribbled past four players – I don’t know those types of things.

“Unfortunately that is often going to be the type of thing that is going to be a decisive factor. Like penalty shootouts – they play a part as well.

“That is also is one of those mysteries. How can you understand that players who are the best technicians in the world, the Roberto Baggios of this world, can suddenly blast penalties over the bar when it matters, when others, who can hardly pass the ball from A to B, can put it in the corner?

“Everything really depends on the night. It is a bit like rehearsals for a play – rehearsals might have been fantastic, but on the opening night everyone forgets their lines or the play, in some others way, is a disaster. That is where all the judgment is.”

Tickets are still available for England's three pre-EURO 2016 friendlies, starting at just £20 for adults and £10 for under-16s – book online at TheFA.com/Tickets now!

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