Next Game

Italy v England

Tuesday, 31 March 2015, 19:45

International Match

Wembley

Last Game

England 4 - 0 Lithuania

Friday, 27 March 2015, 19:45

European Qualifiers Group E

Smalling gets Hodgson backing

England manager Roy Hodgson is delighted to have so many good players on the way back from injury and says Chris Smalling can become a top-class centre-half.

Last Updated: 16/11/12 at 09:20 Post Comment

Chris Smalling: Praised by England manager Roy Hodgson

Chris Smalling: Praised by England manager Roy Hodgson

Hodgson has been encouraged by what he has learnt since taking charge of England earlier in the year and insists there are good times ahead despite Wednesday's 4-2 defeat in Sweden.

There have been a number of players unavailable due to injury and the manager is particularly looking forward to working with Smalling, who has recently returned from a metatarsal problem.

Hodgson signed Smalling in 2008 when he was Fulham boss before selling him on to Manchester United a couple of years later.

"I'm in a much better position when it comes to assessing players and knowing what I can get out of an England team than I was when I came into the job and straight off to the Euros,' Hodgson, who has called up 48 different players since taking the helm, said in the Daily Mail.

"That was quite a conservative group we took there (Sweden). If anything, we have become a lot less conservative and I think the players have responded very positively.

"There's a lot of top-class talent coming back. There's a boy at Manchester United called Smalling, who I've always thought is going to be a top-class centre-half."

Hodgson is pleased that England do not seem so dependent on their star men and he hopes everyone in the squad will continue to contribute.

He explained: "In the past we seem to have been reliant on a group of players who had to play at all times and there's not been a lot of support. Now there's more competition and more help for the Gerrards and Rooneys."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

hould have stayed because we carried him for 6.5 years. And then he has a breakthrough season, and was gone soon after. MU fans, you would be as disgusted had C Ronaldo left in 2007 and not 2009.

godof86
Is Van Persie Slipping Sadly Into The Night?

G

ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

RogerRedHat
Hodgson hits out at Kane leak

H

e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

hump3.
Skrtel denies violent conduct

Footer 365

European Qualifiers round-up: Wins for Germany, Portugal and Romania

Goals from Marco Reus and Thomas Muller gave Germany victory over Georgia while Portugal beat Serbia to go top of Group I.

Luis Suarez rules out joining any English club but Liverpool

Luis Suarez refused to rule out a return to Liverpool and insists he will never play for another Premier League club.

Scotland 6-1 Gibraltar: Steven Fletcher scores hat-trick in European Qualifier

Gibraltar scored their first competitive goal, but Steven Fletcher's hat-trick helped Scotland win 6-1 at Hampden Park.

Mail Box

FA Refusing To Learn From Germany

We have a postcard from Germany in the Mailbox highlighting how Greg Dyke's quick-fix approach is all wrong. Also, the clamour for Kane, and size matters, apparently...

Where's The Love For Walcott?

Theo Walcott is wanted by neither Arsenal or Liverpool fans in the afternoon Mailbox. Also, some good points on the FA skewed priorities, and glorious geekery...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company