England boss Roy Hodgson says just how much of an impression England can make on next summer’s European Championships will partly be dependent on the co-operation they receive from the FA and Premier League.
England face Switzerland at Wembley on Tuesday and have two further group games, despite having made sure of qualification for France in the 6-0 win over San Marino, and Hodgson is determined to get England’s preparation spot on.
Hodgson said: “It will all depend on the year ahead, how we continue our improvement, how much backing we get for some of our ideas from the FA and possibly the Premier League, it would be nice if they didn’t fall upon deaf ears but also it depends on the mentality of the players.
“If you lose the first game for whatever reason you are immediately on the back foot so a lot of things have to click into place, but the one thing I know we will do is we will be as well prepared as possible, no details left to chance, so when the players go into the first game they will feel ready for the task.
“The nucleus of the squad I’ll take to the Euros has formed itself over the last three years. We are missing nine players who have been a part of that nucleus so that gives a chance for the ones who step in now to show they can become part of the nucleus too.
“We have to find out how we can get the best 23 players to represent us in that tournament.”
Hodgson will not be able to select Michael Carrick, who has withdrawn from the squad with a calf injury, but the rest of the squad are fit and Hodgson confirmed he will shuffle his pack at Wembley.
“Throughout these qualifying matches, we have had a certain procedure and when Wayne [Rooney] and I speak to you we know the team, the players know the team but I haven’t been in the habit of announcing the team and I don’t see why I should change [that].
“There will be changes for this one, I can give you that. We will take the game very seriously and we would dearly love to put on a good performance and win the game,” added Hodgson.
Once again the spotlight will be on Rooney, who requires just one goal to reach his half-century and overtake Sir Bobby Charlton and become England’s all-time record goalscorer. Hodgson is confident the talismanic striker will score many more and will continue to be a fixture on the international stage for years to come.
He added: “Wayne’s record speaks for itself, I don’t know if comparisons are such a good thing. Wayne’s record is quite incredible already, goodness knows how many caps he will win and how many goals he will score.
“I never get the impression with Wayne he is trying just to score goals and grab headlines, I always get the impression he is trying play for the team, which is why we all appreciate him so much.”