Neville backs Hodgson

Former defender has faith in England coach's selection decision

Gary Neville: Former midfielder backs head coach Roy Hodgson in naming the right players

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Gary Neville believes that England coach Roy Hodgson will make the right decision when it comes to selecting his squad for the friendly against Italy next week.

A number of the senior players are expected to be missing from action in Berne because of the imminent start of the new Premier League season.

Daniel Sturridge, Tom Cleverley, Ryan Bertrand, Kyle Walker and Jack Rodwell all could be named, and Neville, who serves as one of the assistant coaches to Hodgson, is confident in his boss' decision.

Good ideas

Speaking at an event to promote his new Sustainability in Sport initiative, Neville said: "Roy Hodgson was very clear that he would always use friendlies to have a look at people he hadn't seen before or to develop new ideas.

"He has good ideas about what he wants to do with this friendly. It is the only environment he will have to look at people.

"But they have to be the right players and they have to be ready."

The FA has already defended the timing of the fixture, which is the only official date prior to the opening World Cup qualifier in Moldova on 7th September.

"You have to consider what you want out of a game," said Neville. "We are at the end of pre-season, the league is just about to start and we have three days to prepare, so you are not going to get a perfect performance.

"Also I am not quite sure it will have an effect on the Moldova game. I played in a lot of England friendlies when the result wasn't backed up in the competitive matches afterwards.

"What we need is a good quality performance to keep the momentum going. We are unbeaten so far in terms of normal football and are developing a squad that can take the country towards the World Cup."