World Cup 2014: Roy Hodgson admits he will rely on established players ahead of the youngsters in Brazil
A number of new faces have emerged during the successful qualification campaign
Wednesday 16 October 2013
England manager Roy Hodgson will look to his established players after the team qualified for next year's World Cup finals in 2014.
The Three Lions confirmed their spot with a 2-0 win over Poland on Tuesday night to finish top of the group after a thrilling and sometimes nervous night at Wembley.
While Hodgson has praised a number of young players who have forced their way into the first team, he will again rely on the likes of the more experienced members of the team.
He told reporters in a press conference broadcast on Sky Sports News: "I would think so yes.
"I can't guarantee that, we are a long way off - how do I know what form players will be in in May, what will happen to them, what injuries maybe they've had to deal with. So many unknowns at the moment.
"But all the players I have worked with so far are still very much in my thoughts as are the young ones who I know will be working even harder to knock them off their perch.
"I have a very tough job on my hands - I'm hoping - it will be nice not to be chasing around trying to fill up the quota."
He also praised the contributions of Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard.
"Both Wayne and Steven have been immense in this campaign especially during the latter part.
"Wayne having found such good form with Manchester United and then being able to bring it to the England get togethers and the England team.
"There is no doubt the young players are very exciting, they are our future, they are going to be real important cogs in the wheel when we move on after this World Cup.
"But success in the actual tournament itself this close to the tournament, we are going to need the Gerrards, the Lampards, the Rooneys, the Coles, all of these guys because the young players feed off them."
The England boss paid a special tribute to captain Gerrard, who scored the second goal against Poland.
"He leads by example, he really, really does," Hodgson said. "Everyone looks up to Steven because he's such a good player. He doesn't have to scream and shout, what he has to do is do what he does on the football pitch.
"He perhaps more than anyone should be really proud of this World Cup campaign. I can't speak highly enough of him."
Hodgson said he could already sense the excitement in the country about the prospect of heading to Brazil next summer.
He said: "I've always felt a lot of support from people within the game and people who are close to me.
"I've been very, very happy with the support I got from in particular the FA and the people at the FA who backed me. I have been very pleased with my staff, they've been incredible right the way through, and the players.
"If you want 100 per cent unanimous pats on the back for what you're doing you're probably in the wrong job as a football manager, certainly in the wrong job as England manager.
"I am very excited by the World Cup and going to Brazil. The whole nation is excited.
"I think we will give a good account of ourselves there. Certainly we will do everything in our power to produce that performance which have people saying, 'Great World Cup and England did their bit'."
He was full of praise for the youngsters who have forced their way into contention, saying: "They are playing regularly, they are being quite important people.
"Daniel Sturridge is getting excellent reviews at Liverpool and has brought that with him and done it for us with England.
"Danny Welbeck has been playing on a regular basis for United, Andros Townsend has been playing for Spurs, Jack Wilshere for Arsenal, Kyle Walker for Spurs - to name five off the top of my head and long may that continue."
Hodgson though would not be drawn on who would be his first choice between Ashley Cole and Leighton Baines.
Asked if Baines was now the best left-back in England, he said: "Well that would be harsh on Ashley Cole - he is a fantastic player. He was injured for this game, it would have been a tough decision for me to make had he been (available).
"I have the utmost respect and admiration for both players. For a long time everyone has understood that.
"It's going to be a battle I guess between those two to see which one can get his hand on the shirt and maybe I will be lucky enough to find a place to rotate or use them like I have done so far.
"I am lucky and happy to have two such good players and obviously I am not prepared to say this one is the undoubted number one."
The former Liverpool and West Brom boss also played down England's chances in Brazil, saying: "We won't be favourites that is for sure.
"If you are going to define World Cups as only worthwhile if you win then basically trying to qualify is basically a waste of time because we know there are some very, very strong teams in the world, we know in South America....European teams don't win there but I am pretty sure the European teams that go there will know that, they will know how tough it's going to be.
"I don't imagine any of us will say this is impossible but I will also say and I think the general public will agree, we have been in a slight transition period.
"There is a lot of good young players coming through, we are making progress, we are getting better."
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