No risks from Roy Hodgson

England boss Roy Hodgson says now is not the time to take risks with his World Cup mission.

Last Updated: 06/09/13 at 08:23 Post Comment

Roy Hodgson talks to the press on Thursday.

Roy Hodgson talks to the press on Thursday.

England boss Roy Hodgson says now is not the time to take risks with his World Cup mission.

Hodgson has opted to place his faith in old stagers Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard for Friday night's Wembley qualifier with Moldova.

At a combined age of 68, the pair are hardly in the first flush of youth and it is a decade since questions were asked over their ability to play in the same side.

However, with qualification for Brazil so delicately poised, Hodgson feels their experience will prove invaluable.

"Is it a reflection on Frank and Steven that they're still playing?" said Hodgson.

"You can argue that, but they're under enormous pressure with their club sides too.

"They are playing at top clubs who are buying big players, but they haven't been able to knock these guys off their perch.

"We're not short of talent. But is this talent going to develop in the right way?

"Are we, in the England set up, going to be able to give them the opportunity?

"It's one thing believing in talent, but selecting someone when they don't play for their club is not an easy thing to do.

"You open yourself up to all sorts of criticism."

Hodgson's hand has been forced to an extent by the nasty head injury that has ruled out star striker Wayne Rooney.

With Daniel Sturridge sidelined by a groin strain that is also set to keep him out of Tuesday's trip to Ukraine, England will name Rickie Lambert as their attacking spearhead even though three years ago the 31-year-old had never even played in the Championship, let alone the Premier League.

"It was a straight choice between Lambert and (Jermain) Defoe," said Hodgson.

"It's partly the fact Lambert turned up fully fit having played the three matches.

"Jermain hasn't played and turned up with a slight injury. That swayed me to turn my attention to Rickie."

Hodgson has not only taken the unusual step of naming his entire starting line-up, he also allowed England's WAGs into the team hotel in Watford last night, although it appears they were kept apart from their partners overnight.

It belies a relaxed approach to the easiest of England's final four games of the qualification campaign, which Hodgson is confident his charges will eventually come through successfully.

"I'm confident," he said.

"Coaches are entitled to believe in their players, and I don't need to be cowed by figures from the past.

"I'm working with a good group of players who have the ability, the desire and the wish to do well.

"I fully believe they will."

England team: Hart, Walker, Jagielka, Cahill, Cole, Gerrard, Wilshere, Lampard, Walcott, Lambert, Welbeck.


Sky Bet Free Bet Club: £10 free bet - £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

C

lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

hump3.
Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

H

e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

london saint
Shaw: Criticism spot on

P

urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

bale doubt
Saints' Schneiderlin stalemate

Footer 365

Diego Costa gets two assists Chelsea's 3-1 win over Vitesse Arnhem

Diego Costa grabbed two assists as Chelsea beat Vitesse Arnhem 3-1 on Wednesday

Women's football: Natasha Dowie says Fara Williams can earn 200 caps

Fara Williams has enough ability to earn 200 caps for England, according to Liverpool Ladies team-mate Natasha Dowie

Women's football: Dunia Susi and Rachel Brown-Finnis out of England's game with Sweden

England Women’s boss Mark Sampson has been hit by two withdrawals from his squad ahead of Sunday's game against Sweden

Mail Box

Divock Origi Is Like Connor Sammon (Sort Of)

One Mailboxer inserts his tongue into cheek to offer his thoughts on Liverpool's newest signing. Plus thoughts on league-owned clubs, badges, and swearing...

Mails Come From A Land Down Under

We have an example of league-owned clubs from Australia while Kiwi boys want more respect for refs. Plus, Van Gaal won't stick with 3-5-2 and worried if Koeman will cut it...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property