All change from Roy Hodgson for England’s tough test against Montenegro
Hodgson is expected to bring back six players after his team’s relaxed stroll through San Marino
Roy Hodgson is poised to make up to six changes to the England team that beat San Marino 8-0 on Friday night for the World Cup Group H qualifier against Montenegro on Tuesday that the national team cannot afford to lose.
The England squad fly to Podgorica tomorrow with Glen Johnson available for the game, although he will require an injection for a long-term toe problem. The Liverpool right-back was given the night off against San Marino, not even appearing on the bench as Hodgson's players racked up the biggest victory for an England team since 1987.
Also likely to come back into the side for the qualifier against Montenegro are the captain, Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole, Michael Carrick, Danny Welbeck and James Milner. That would mean Frank Lampard, Kyle Walker, Leighton Baines, Ashley Young, Jermain Defoe and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all missing out.
Johnson was not named among the England substitutes on Friday night and Hodgson said: "If you remember in the Euros he had a slight toe problem that we really had to look after and funnily enough, all of a sudden it has recurred – though not to the same extent.
"There's no doubt he could have played [against San Marino] and we could have even had him on the bench. But it would have meant an injection and I preferred him to maintain his course of treatment. This way he didn't have to put on a boot. It just gives us a couple more days."
Hodgson also said that he had not considered returning to John Terry in spite of the shortage of centre-backs following the withdrawals of Michael Dawson, Rio Ferdinand and Gary Cahill.
"Should Michael Owen come out of retirement every time we can't score a goal?" he said. "Let's stick to the guys who are playing regularly every week.
"I have great respect for John Terry. I think he did a fantastic job during the Euros but circumstances contrived against me in that respect and he felt the need to retire, so let's respect that as well. And let's also show some respect for the young Chris Smalling and the not too young, but well tried and tested, Joleon Lescott."
Turning to the Montenegro match, Hodgson said: "Whatever their result in Moldova it would have still been a big game for us on Tuesday. We must do our best to get a win."
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