Roy Hodgson promises to be 'careful' with Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere

Wilshere will not play 90 minutes against Scotland this week

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The Independent Football

Roy Hodgson will resist the temptation to use Jack Wilshere for 90 minutes against Scotland tomorrow.

Having seen Wilshere sidelined for much of the last two years through injury, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been careful not to put too much pressure on his star midfielder this summer.

The 21-year-old has not completed a full 90 minutes in pre-season, even though he has played in all but two of the Gunners' games in the build-up to the 2013-14 season.

Hodgson has only been able to play Wilshere from first whistle to last on one occasion during his 15-month reign and that came against Brazil in February, when the midfielder put in a stunning man of the match display.

Hodgson is desperate to see Wilshere play more minutes in an England shirt, but he knows he must manage the player carefully given that a big few months lie ahead for national side, and Arsenal.

"I have not had the benefit of Jack Wilshere for a qualifying match or an important match so we are pleased to have him back," Hodgson said.

"We are aware of the fact that Arsene is careful with him at Arsenal and I will be careful with him as well.

"We are spoilt for choice in that we have enormous riches in the central midfield area. I was very pleased with Michael Carrick and Frank Lampard in the Brazil and Ireland fixtures and I am delighted with Steven Gerrard and Jack Wilshere and that is just naming four. We have others who can compete as well."

Wilshere and his England team-mates are likely to be faced with a full-blooded battle against the Scots tomorrow, Hodgson believes.

The England boss added: "We know they'll be as fired up as you can possibly be for a friendly match wanting to get a good result and it's down to us to stop them.

"We know it's not an easy fixture for us, but we don't want easy fixtures at the moment. We want good preparation for the qualifiers."

Hodgson will take England training this morning before heading to Sheffield to take charge of the Under-21s for their game against the Scots at Bramall Lane.

A lot of doom and gloom has surrounded England's youngsters since they were eliminated from the European Championship earlier this summer without claiming a single point.

The England boss thinks the state of youth football in England is not as bad as some people make out, though.

"It's not as bleak as has been painted," Hodgson added.

"If you see the Under-21s that we have there are some talents out there and some very skilful players."

PA

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