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Hodgson encouraged by English talent pool

England manager Roy Hodgson is encouraged by the domestic form of English players and says he has a “headache” ahead of the FIFA World Cup.

Hodgson guided his charges to Brazil 2014 as England qualified top of Group H in the European section of qualifying in November.

The former Liverpool and West Brom manager has been viewing games across the Premier League as he tries to decide upon a 23-man squad for the tournament, and is pleased by what he has seen.

The likes of Tottenham’s Andros Townsend and West Ham’s Ravel Morrison have risen to prominence this season, and Hodgson concedes he faces a welcome dilemma.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, he said: “At the moment, I’ve seen a lot of our England players and contenders for England places playing extremely well. I wish I could bottle up some of the form and keep it.

“It’s quite fascinating at the moment going to games. The number of players getting games, especially some of the youngsters, is good.

“There are a lot of teams fielding English players in their line-up at the moment and I’m seeing a lot of good performances.

“If I had to pick a team for the World Cup today, it would be a major headache.”

England will be aiming to do better than their previous World Cup venture, when the side were beaten 4-1 by Germany in the round of 16.

But their task will not be easy after being handed a tough draw, with Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica all in the same group.

Hodgson, however, believes the team are capable of progressing from the pool, and is taking confidence from England’s progression from a tough UEFA Euro 2012 group stage.

He added: “We had an equally tough group in the Euros and we got out of that group and got ourselves to the quarter-finals.

“We believe we can do it. There are no easy groups in the World Cup.”

Thu 26 December, 2013
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