Roy Hodgson insists he will give his younger players a chance to impress ahead of the World Cup Finals, after England booked their place in Rio.
Goals from Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard gave the Three Lions a 3-0 win over Poland on Tuesday night, earning the three points which ensured top-spot in Group H and guaranteed their place at the World Cup Finals next summer. Preparations are now taking place to arrange a series of friendlies ahead of the tournament in Brazil, the first of which will be in November.
Germany are being lined up for a Wembley date next month, and there will likely be at least two more before Hodgson names his provisional squad for Rio. And the 66-year-old has now confirmed he will use these matches to take a closer look at some of his promising youngsters, as he already knows what the more experienced members of his options are capable of.
“It is a chance to give one or two a chance to put that England shirt on,” said Hodgson. “I have been quite consistent in my team selections. A lot of players have played a large number of these 10 qualifying games. These friendlies will give me a chance to give one or two others a chance.
“More importantly, it will give (Daniel) Sturridge, (Andros) Townsend, (Chris) Smalling, (Jack) Wilshere, (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain, who we didn’t have at the start of the campaign, a chance to play a bit more football. We know what some of the others – (Leighton) Baines, (Ashley) Cole, (Michael) Carrick, (Steven) Gerrard, (Frank) Lampard, (Phil) Jagielka, (Joe) Hart – can do.”