Roy Hodgson recalls Andy Carroll for England friendlies with Republic of Ireland and Brazil

Andy Carroll: Scored four goals in six games for West Ham during the closing stages of the season

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Roy Hodgson has recalled Andy Carroll to the England squad for forthcoming friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil.

The striker has not been involved since October's World Cup qualifier in Poland, when he was an unused substitute, but has finished the season in fine form for West Ham, where he is on loan from Liverpool.

Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy earns a first senior call-up, having featured three times for the U21s, but there are no other surprises in the 22-man party for games against Giovanni Trapattoni's side at Wembley on 29 May and then World Cup hosts Brazil in Rio on 2 June.

"He has done well in the games I have seen him play and I have had good reports on him," Hodgson said of McCarthy at a press conference on Thursday. "It's a good chance to bring him in and see how he copes in the senior squad."

Insisting Carroll had a key role to play, Hodgson said: "For a long time we didn't consider him because he was injured but since he has come back from injury he's always been very much in our thoughts.

"I think he is the type of player who gives another dimension to our squad and gives us other possibilities if we care to use them.

"I'm not concerned about his playing style. There's always room for a centre-forward of his class, his type who is good at holding the ball up and very good at attacking crosses."

With Steven Gerrard injured, Ashley Cole had been tipped to captain the side at Wembley, where he will receive a commemorative gold cap, but Hodgson admitted the Chelsea defender may pass up an invitation.

"If we were to take into account everything that appeared about players that could have been regarded as vaguely defamatory against ourselves, we wouldn't have a team," said Hodgson.

"He felt he had been let down in some way and he apologised.

"Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney are captains elect, but I'll speak to Ashley as he's receiving his 100th cap," he added.

"Most players who receive their 100th cap do receive the honour of captaining the country but the last time I spoke to Ashley he was happy to stay in the shadows. Out of courtesy I'll speak to him, as I will with Frank and Wayne when we get together."

England squad:

Goalkeepers: Ben Foster, Joe Hart, Alex McCarthy.

Defenders: Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Phil Jagielka, Glen Johnson, Phil Jones, Joleon Lescott, Kyle Walker.

Midfielders: Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Frank Lampard, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott.

Forwards: Andy Carroll, Jermain Defoe, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck.