Hodgson focused on bringing the best out of England at the World Cup
England manager Roy Hodgson claims he is keeping a close eye on filling each spot in squad for the World Cup 2014 with the most deserving appropriate player. Hodgson will announce his 23-man squad for the World Cup this summer on June 2.
England, who travel to Brazil for the World Cup, will face Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in Group D. Hodgson previously complained that he might not have the necessary depth in talent pool as other teams enjoy.
Hodgson’s comments were met by severe criticism and since then the Three Lions boss has toned down on critical assessment of his squad. Nonetheless, Hodgson admits there is much work to be done.
“We follow the games every week. There aren't any Premier League matches that are not covered,” Hodgson told FA TV. “[Coaches] Ray Lewington, Gary Neville, and myself in particular cover normally at least five or six of the top Premier League matches over the weekend, so I have no worries about not knowing enough about the players.”
Hodgson is keen on preparing his squad in time for the World Cup, despite the intense schedule of football in England. The Three Lions will battle against Denmark in a friendly set for March 5, only four days after an intense round of Premier League games which includes the mouth-watering encounter between Manchester United and Manchester City.
“One of things that interests me more is trying to get more contact with the players,” Hodgson added. “The game in March only gives us a couple of days. There are matches on the Sunday and we play on the Wednesday, so it doesn't exactly give us a lot of time then.
“One of our challenges is to try and make sure we liaise with the clubs, get around to the clubs and get a chance to meet with the coaches, meet with the players, just get an update and a chance to refresh the players' memories about what we look like and how we sound.”
Hodgson, who at 66 has managed a couple of other nations as well, admits he is excited to lead England into the World Cup after being drawn in a tough group.
“I am very excited,” Hodgson said. “It is the biggest tournament, really. It is every four years, an incredible world event and this year with it being in Brazil, with all that Brazil represents in football terms, it adds spice to the occasion, there is no question about that.
“First of all, you go through quite a difficult 14 to 16 months making certain that you get there and of course when you get there it is a very, very exciting proposition because you know now your place is booked. We've had the draw now. We know who we are playing against and where we are playing, so there are very exciting times ahead.”