England World Cup squad: Roy Hodgson pleads with fans to 'temper their expectations' of Ross Barkley in Brazil
Hodgson admits his excitement with including the Everton midfielder in his squad but calls for realistic expectations
Roy Hodgson has attempted to ease the pressure on Ross Barkley’s shoulders after the Everton midfielder was included in the England squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Hodgson announced his 23-man squad at an eagerly anticipated press conference at Vauxhall in Luton, where he confirmed that 20-year-old Barkley had been selected.
When quizzed whether he could spark the English midfield into life in South America, the Three Lions manager admitted his admiration for the young talent, but was quick to stress that fans should not expect miracles from Barkley every time he gets the ball.
“He's a very, very exciting player, a very exciting talent and if he can continue at that level he has a very exciting future ahead of him,” said Hodgson.
“But I would hope people will temper their expectations of him.
“I wouldn't want him to be under the pressure that every time he gets the ball he has to score a goal like the one he did against Manchester City, or dribble 40-yards past five defenders.”
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Barkley’s form this season has seen his stock rise dramatically, with his seven goals this season demonstrating his willingness to drive forward and put defenders under pressure – a feature rarely seen in England World Cup squads of recent years – and has also generated an expectation among fans that he could be the ‘next big thing’ for England.
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