Hodgson to keep faith
England manager not worried by competition at club level
Last Updated: August 30, 2012 9:09am
Roy Hodgson: Set to name his squad for World Cup qualifiers on Thursday
Roy Hodgson has insisted it is not a major concern that a number of England's players are fighting for their places at club level, as he prepares to name his squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine.
Hodgson is set to announce his squad later on Thursday for the games in Chisinau on 7th September and at Wembley four days later.
Youngsters such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Butland are set to be included as Hodgson is expected to keep faith with a familiar group.
Yet Oxlade-Chamberlain's omission from the Arsenal starting line-up at Stoke on Sunday merely underlines the dilemma Hodgson is facing.
Of the 23 men who were on duty for the Three Lions at Euro 2012 for instance, only 12 started for their clubs at the weekend.
Jermain Defoe was the only striker with Steven Gerrard and Ashley Young the men on duty from Hodgson's midfield department
Hodgson maintains that he is not too worried because it shows his men are at top clubs, although he also understands why some players may want to move in search of regular football like Adam Johnson has in recently joining Sunderland.
"If you join a top, top club in the Premier League where there is enormous competition for places, it is never going to be easy to break into the team," he explained to Sky Sports News.
"I am certain there are a lot of countries looking at their players on the benches of the top clubs around the world, so it doesn't bother me."
Hodgson added: "Adam Johnson spent a lot of time on the bench at Manchester City and now he is at Sunderland so I think there will be a lot of situations like that.
"You can't keep a top player on the bench forever, but we all have to accept there will be periods maybe when you have to fight for your place, and maybe that is healthier in the long run."
Wayne Rooney will not be involved in the squad after suffering a badly gashed thigh, but John Terry could feature despite missing Chelsea's win over Newcastle with a neck injury.