London 2012

Ox potential excites Hodgson

England manager praises uncapped duo

Last Updated: 16/05/12 3:24pm

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Roy Hodgson believes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has the ability to make a big impact with England, while John Ruddy has been rewarded for an excellent campaign with Norwich.

Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ruddy are the two uncapped players to have been named in Hodgson's 23-man squad for Euro 2012, having impressed in the Premier League this season.

Arsenal youngster Oxlade-Chamberlain has shown himself to be a versatile performer and Hodgson is enthusiastic when he thinks about the 18-year-old's potential.

"He is a very, very exciting player. He has given one or two performances that have left quite an impression on me, not least of all when Arsenal played Milan at the Emirates and I was there live and saw how well he dealt with Pirlo and Ambrosini in the centre of midfield," Hodgson said at a media conference on Wednesday that was broadcast live on Sky Sports News HD.

"The fact that he is the type of player that can play wide or play central also affected my decision, and also for the future I think he is a player we will be seeing a lot of if he can continue as he has started."

Excellent season

Ruddy will provide goalkeeping back-up to Joe Hart and Robert Green after staking his claim for a place in the squad with a series of assured performances between the posts for Norwich.

Hodgson said: "We don't have so many English goalkeepers to choose from but I think John has had an excellent season and Norwich have had an excellent season.

"They have really taken the Premier League by storm and he has been a very important part of that team, so when I was looking for somebody to back up Joe Hart, who is the obvious No.1, and Robert Green, who is the obvious No.2, I turned to John Ruddy."

Hodgson also confirmed that he had told Ruddy not to postpone his wedding, which is due to take place on 2nd June, the same day as England face Belgium in a warm-up game.

Hart and Green will be available for that match and then Hodgson will welcome Ruddy back into the fold before the squad fly out to Poland and Ukraine.

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