Hodgson won’t rule out call-ups for Norwich and Southampton pair
PUBLISHED: 09:51 17 November 2012 | UPDATED: 09:52 17 November 2012
Roy Hodgson insists the likes of Norwich captain Grant Holt and Southampton frontman Rickie Lambert could still get their chance for England ahead of the 2014 World Cup.
The Three Lions manager opted for promoting youth in this week’s friendly against Sweden, with strikers Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck and promising Crystal Palace youngster Wilfried Zaha included in the squad.
However, Hodgson insisted his attacking options would remain open as he plots safe qualification for Brazil, who will come to Wembley for a prestigious friendly in February ahead of the next competitive fixture away to minnows San Marino on March 22.
England boss Hodgson took part in a wide-ranging question and answer session in a Football Nights event organised by Delia’s Canary Catering at Carrow Road this evening, and was quizzed as to why he had so far overlooked Norwich skipper Holt, who netted 15 Barclays Premier League goals last season.
Hodgson said: “You understand when you are a national team coach that you have a job of picking 20 players for a squad and there are a lot of fans around the country who feel their team is disadvantaged because they do not have a representative, that is not to say their representatives are not good enough.
“In the case of your man, Grant Holt, of course there is no reason why a man like him with the abilities he has could not play for England.
“But the problem for me is there are a lot of other players who can play for England as well with maybe different characteristics. Sometimes you have to take all these things into account.
“It can also be a question of what particular time you are playing and who your competitors are.
“I have not made any strong judgements for or against players like Grant, or players of the same sort of ability as him.
“Lambert at Southampton is often mentioned, and he is a player who has had a similar career [to Holt], done fantastically well to come through the lower leagues and prove themselves at every level.
“[West Ham striker] Andy Carroll of course is another player in that category and he has been in the England squad.”
Hodgson added: “The last time we played I went down a slightly different route, but that is not to say I will never go back to a route where I am looking for a player of Andy Carroll’s stature, of Grant Holt’s stature, of Ricky Lambert’s stature, and then these players will come very much once again into consideration.”
Holt, 31, has netted three league goals this season, and is likely to spearhead Norwich’s attack in tomorrow’s clash against Manchester United at Carrow Road.
“Grant has my full admiration, not only for what he has done at this football club, but with other teams as well,” Hodgson continued.
“However, if I was to give an England cap to every player who had my admiration then I am afraid we would need around 420 places, and we do not have quite that many.”