England v Denmark: Roy Hodgson says the door is still open for the omitted Andy Carroll, Adam Johnson and Gareth Barry to play at the World Cup
Manager adamant that this is not his final squad for Brazil
After announcing his England squad to face Denmark, manager Roy Hodgson claimed that the door is still very much open for the likes of Andy Carroll, Adam Johnson and Gareth Barry to force themselves into the reckoning for a place at the World Cup, despite leaving them out of next week's friendly at Wembley.
It is England's final friendly before Hodgson names his provisional World Cup squad on 13 May, but he is adamant that the current personnel is by no means his final choice for Brazil.
"It would be very foolish of me in March to give a definitive 30-man squad [for the World Cup]," Hodgson said. "This is the squad I have chosen for now.
"Andy Carroll has hardly played, Adam Johnson is a player we know and because of the competition we have decided not include him in this squad."
Jermain Defoe, who will officially leave Tottenham to join Toronto FC tomorrow, was a surprise choice, especially as he has played 178 minutes fewer than West Ham's Carroll in all competitions this year.
Southampton left-back Luke Shaw, meanwhile, has been called up to the senior squad for the first time, and will provide competition for Ashley Cole and Leighton Baines.
"I think everyone who has watched him play recently will not deny that he deserves a place in a large squad like this," he said. "He has played extremely well and is an exciting talent. I think it was the right moment to invite him along. He is a player in a position where we are well off but he wants to compete with the other two for a place on the plane to Brazil."
Raheem Sterling, whose sole cap came in the 4-2 victory over Sweden in November 2012, and was last called up to the England set-up in October, returns to the squad and according to Hodgson, is "better than ever".
"Raheem was with us for one of the qualifying games we played last year, " the manager said. "He is a player I know from Liverpool but after bursting into the team he went away for a while but he is back now better than ever."
Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Celtic), Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion), Joe Hart (Manchester City), John Ruddy (Norwich City).
Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Steven Caulker (Cardiff City), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur).
Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Southampton), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).
Forwards: Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC), Rickie Lambert (Southampton), Jay Rodriguez (Southampton), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Daniel Welbeck (Manchester United).
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