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Hodgson wants England to keep the ball

Roy Hodgson says England need to work on the technical side of their game in order to compete at the top level.

Hodgson used this month’s friendly with Sweden to give international debuts to Steven Caulker, Raheem Sterling, Carl Jenkinson and Wilfried Zaha, indicating these could be the type of players he is looking to build his team around.

“We accept that the game is getting a lot faster, we need pace in the modern game, we need technique,” Hodgson told talkSPORT.

“In some of the younger players coming through, we have got these qualities.”

Jack Wilshere, 20, and Danny Welbeck, 21, have also proved themselves to be important members of the England squad, but Hodgson is wary of putting too much pressure on such young and inexperienced shoulders.

“What it means is that you are a little bit reliant on these 20 to 22-year-olds who haven’t played that many games and sometimes you can face the criticism that you are selecting a player who is maybe only a bit-part player for his team,” Hodgson said.

England were criticised for surrendering possession in their Euro 2012 penalty shootout defeat to Italy, and Hodgson has admitted this is an aspect of their game that needs improving.

“Obviously I think we need to pass better,” he said.

“One of the things we thought, coming back from the Euros, that we need to improve is the quality of our passing and the possession side of our game – but possession in the right sense.

“To do that you need some players who can manipulate the ball, deal with the ball, beat a player and I’m really quite pleased that there are young players coming through who have got those qualities.

“I want an England team to go to a World Cup and compete well there and I think to do that we have got to make certain improvements.”

Thu 22 November, 2012
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