Roy unsure of U21 returns

England boss says players may not be willing to drop back down

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: Is still eligible for

Loading Market ...

Football Betting

Up To £30 Free Matched Bet

Roy Hodgson has admitted it may be difficult persuading some of his England

youngsters to drop back down to Under-21 level even if they are not required for next

month's World Cup qualifiers.

With a two-legged play-off against Serbia to plan for, Under-21 boss Stuart

Pearce has expressed the hope some of his star men will be released from seniors duty against San Marino and Poland to maximise the chances of reaching next year's European Championship finals in Israel.

Specifically, Pearce is looking at goalkeeper Jack Butland and defender Kyle

Walker, both of whom were chosen in Hodgson's squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine last week but did not play.

In addition, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also eligible, although the Arsenal man did feature in both of last week's senior matches.

Hodgson has already made it perfectly clear any player he needs will not be


But he has also questioned the desire of players to drop down a level after

making their big breakthrough for the Three Lions.

Open views

"I don't have hard and fast views," said Hodgson.

"I will listen to his (Pearce's) ideas and what he would like and make

decisions accordingly.

"But there is no doubt once a player is playing regularly for the senior

national team, it is never easy to suggest he should go back and play for the


"Of course, we regard Oxlade-Chamberlain as a senior player. But I won't get drawn into a debate about what Stuart Pearce has said.

"As far as I am concerned, I am prepared to discuss all players - whether they are needed by us or whether they are needed elsewhere.

"But I'm also stating the obvious in saying if I think we need them, that's where they will be.

"I don't know yet what players he is thinking of and what importance they

would have in my thinking for the next two games.

"We were short for this one, 10 senior players, and that is without talking

about the (Chris) Smallings, the (Phil) Jones and (Jack) Wilsheres.

"I am not getting drawn into a debate but I am stating the obvious when I say

that if I think we need them, that is where they will be."