Hodgson hopes to avoid injuries

Roy Hodgson will cross his fingers over the next two months in the hope he avoids an England World Cup injury crisis.

Last Updated: 06/03/14 at 15:12 Post Comment

Roy Hodgson will cross his fingers over the next two months in the hope that he does not become the latest manager to be struck by the England World Cup injury curse.

The England manager thinks his task of selecting 23 players for his World Cup squad is harder than ever thanks to impressive performances from the likes of Luke Shaw, Ashley Cole and Adam Lallana in Wednesday's 1-0 win over Denmark.

But, as a well-read scholar of the English game, Hodgson knows all too well that he may not have a full compliment of players to choose from when he picks his squad on May 13.

Rio Ferdinand was ruled out of England's last World Cup campaign following a knee injury he suffered in training while David Beckham and Wayne Rooney broke metatarsals in the build-up to the previous two tournaments.

Ian Wright was ruled out of the 1998 World Cup thanks to a hamstring injury he suffered in the build-up to the tournament and the re-emergence of a shoulder injury curtailed Bryan Robson's World Cup in 1986.

Theo Walcott is already out of this year's World Cup in Brazil because of anterior cruciate ligament damage and Hodgson does not want any more of his star names to miss out.

"The talent pool is as big as ever and all I can hope for now is that I can pick from that same pool come May 13," the England manager said.

"I hope we don't suffer any more injury setbacks like we did with Theo Walcott and the people that I would like to be selecting from are all there still knocking on the door.

"I will have to decide then which ones to disappoint."

Eleven minutes into the win over the Danes, it looked like the injury curse had already struck again. Jack Wilshere recoiled and slammed the turf in pain after going for a 50-50 ball with Liverpool captain Daniel Agger.

Hodgson cut a worried figure on the touchline, but luckily for him and the Arsenal midfielder, there was no serious damage.

"The last thing I want is to send players back injured especially when Arsenal have so many important games coming up, so we were delighted when he got up and we were told it was just a kick on the foot," Hodgson said.

"I am hoping that when he goes back to Arsenal they will soon put that right and that he will be fit for Saturday."

Hodgson will now travel across the country and beyond, taking a look at potential candidates for his squad.

"Many of them did their cause a great deal of good," Hodgson said.

It was pretty clear who Hodgson was talking about. Shaw did not look out of place on his international debut, but 33-year-old Cole showed he still has what it takes to cut it at international level. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also offered England more invention during his little cameo.

But the biggest winner of the fringe players was probably Adam Lallana. Hodgson gambled on Lallana, calling him up for the November friendlies, and he has not looked back since. The versatile midfielder brought the crowd to the edge of their seats with a brilliant Cruyff turn just after his introduction and he also supplied the ball which Daniel Sturridge headed home to clinch the win.

"Each time I see him - whether it be for England or Southampton - he comes off the field thinking he must have played well and the (England) coaching staff think that too, as do the players," Hodgson said.

Next up for England is a friendly against Peru on May 30 - their final game before they depart to Miami, where they will play Honduras and Ecuador.

Hodgson will use the three friendlies to look at all his options ahead of the finals in Brazil.

"We will be looking at players and we might be looking to air our squad," Hodgson added.

"Will I be turning cartwheels if we managed to beat Peru and Ecuador? No I won't. But I won't be burying myself if we lose the games either.

"I hope I will come away feeling good about my team though and looking forward to the task ahead on June 14."


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