Exclusive – Hodgson insists work-in-progress England ‘will be ready’ for Euro 2016

first_imgRoy Hodgson has told talkSPORT he is excited for England’s future and insists his team will be ready to compete at the 2016 European Championships.The Three Lions manager has come under fire for the side’s recent below-par performances after just scraping a 1-0 victory over Norway last week.The friendly had the lowest ever attendance for an England game at the new Wembley, with fans seemingly still unimpressed with the side’s form following a woeful World Cup.Despite going into the summer’s tournament in high spirits, the Three Lions endured a miserable campaign in Brazil – failing to register a win and finishing rock bottom of their group.But Hodgson still harbours high hopes for his work-in-progress squad, while he also defended their poor displays explaining you have to expect “hiccups” when you introduce new players into the set-up.“I’ve got no doubt in my mind that this current crop of England players is capable of doing well,” he told Keys and Gray: Inside Sport.“But they’re going to need these two years [in the build-up to Euro 2016].“They’ll be some heartache and pain along the way, you can’t introduce so many players at one stage without few hiccups.“But the fortune for us is that we have a group that can allow us a bit of room for experimentation and trail, so that when we go to France in 2016 these players will be ready.”Meanwhile, the former Liverpool manager says he has been encouraged by England’s currently thriving youth system that the first-team will enjoy future success.Much has been made in the past about the lack of youth stars delivering when they eventually reach the top level, however, Hodgson claims he has seen enough talent to suggest any future boss may have a selection headache on his hands.He added: “I’m very excited and that goes beyond the first team.“I watched the Under-20s demolish Romania [with a stunning 6-0 friendly win] this week and they were excellent, they really were.“As I was watching them I was thinking to myself that a lot of these players, who are only around 19 years old, can easily play in the Premier League.“There are so many unbelievably gifted young players coming through our academy systems.“They have all the things we’ve looked for in the past: pace, mobility, athleticism and technique. And really all they need is to improve their understanding of the game.“We all know that can’t happen overnight, so we work with them day after day on the training field at their clubs and hopefully here if they make the England squad. “last_img read more