Euro 2016: 'Week of football' schedule has Roy Hodgson worried over lack of time with England squad

Hodgson feels that players who feature on Sunday for their clubs would not train before a Thursday night fixture, as Uefa have announced will take place as part of Euro 2016 qualification

England boss Roy Hodgson fears UEFA's new format for international qualifiers will reduce even further the time he has with the team.

Hodgson, speaking after England were handed a straightforward draw for Euro 2016 in Group E alongside Switzerland, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania and San Marino, said playing matches on a Thursday would mean having just one day to train with the squad.

Euro 2016 qualifiers will see UEFA's 'week of football' idea put into practice, with matches taking place every day from the Thursday to Tuesday of double-header international weeks.

England's first home match of the campaign is on a Thursday, against San Marino on October 9, and Hodgson, who also admitted the Football Association faces a tough task to sell out Wembley for the low-profile opponents, said: "It will affect the national teams.

"One of the major problems for us could be a Thursday game if the Super Sunday has four of our best teams taking part, taking as many as seven or eight of our first XI players.

"That means Monday is a write-off, Tuesday for some of the older players will be a write-off because they need a two-day recovery and don't train two days after a game.

"That would mean we have one day, the day before the game, to prepare the team.

"The clubs will be happier because it used to be two weeks for the national teams in these breaks.

"That got knocked down to 10 days. Then it was knocked down to nine days. Now it's seven or eight days, so the clubs, I would think, are rubbing their hands all the time because they get the players back quicker all the time."

Scotland and the Republic of Ireland were drawn in Group G along with Germany, Poland and Georgia, as well as UEFA's newest member Gibraltar.

Irish boss Martin O'Neill said: "I think it's the toughest group but it's an exciting one.

"We have got Scotland, we have Poland who we have played in a recent friendly and whose recent efforts (against England) at Wembley were not too bad at all."

It will bring O'Neill face to face with his fellow ex-Celtic manager Gordon Strachan, who claimed it was a "terrific draw" - while other groups appeared "mundane".

Wales' chances of qualifying look equally difficult, in Group B with Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belgium, Israel, Cyprus and Andorra.

Northern Ireland were drawn in Group F with Greece, Hungary, Romania, Finland and the Faroe Islands.

The top two in each group will qualify for the 24-team final tournament along with hosts France. The best third-placed team will also qualify, with the eight other third-placed sides playing off for the remaining four spots.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project