Roy Hodgson: Michael Carrick injury not “serious” ahead of Switzerland match
In his press conference in the run-up to the Switzerland match at Wembley, England manager Roy Hodgson was joined by record-chasing striker Wayne Rooney, with the Three Lions boss revealing the latest on Michael Carrick’s injury scare.
England are odds-on at 3/4 with Coral to beat Switzerland in their latest Euro 2016 qualifier, which would continue their unblemished record in the group.
On Carrick, Hodgson said: “He has a calf injury. We don’t believe it is that serious. It was odd because it came out of nowhere, at the start of the warm-up in San Marino. He felt something and as a precaution we’ve not pushed him.
“He has had a preliminary scan and the doctors decided there is something there and it is up to United to look at it more closely.”
When asked whether this means Swansea star Jonjo Shelvey will play, Hodgson was coy in his answer: “You’ll have to wait and see on that one.”
Speaking about possible team selection, Hodgson continued: “Throughout the qualifying matches we’ve had a certain procedure and when Wayne and I speak to you we know the team, the players know the team but I haven’t been in the habit of announcing the team and I don’t see why I should change it.
“Yes there will be changes I can give you that. We take the game very seriously, we would dearly love to put on a performance and win the game.
“I hope [Rooney] can break the record because then we can have some press conferences where he doesn’t have to talk about the pressure he is under to break it.”
Hodgson also wouldn’t be drawn too much on England’s chances at Euro 2016 after their 6-0 win against San Marino secured their qualification: “It will all depend on the year ahead, how we continue what we see as an improvement, how much backing we get for some of our ideas from the FA and possibly the Premier League – it would be nice if they didn’t fall upon deaf ears – but also it depends on the mentality of the players.
“If you lose the first game for whatever reason you are immediately on the back foot so a lot of things have to click into place, but the one thing I know we will do is we will be as well prepared as possible, no details left to chance, so when the players go into the first game they will feel ready for the task.”
Understandably, the England boss also has many ideas in mind that he would like to experiment with, though admits he hasn’t yet had the chance: “It is quite fascinating to be sat here talking about June 2016 in September. I’m a football coach, have been for 40 years, and generally I don’t look more than two months ahead, ever.
“I have lots of ideas for the tournament but I haven’t even run that by our players yet. So I’ll run it by them before I do the press.”
There will be also much speculation about who Hodgson includes in the squad for the tournament and with Danny Welbeck (England’s top scorer in qualifying with six goals) and Daniel Sturridge both injured, Hodgson could well leave them out.
“The nucleus of the squad I’ll take to the Euros has formed itself over the last three years,” Hodgson said.
“One has to hope that nucleus remains in place. We are missing nine players for these games who have been a part of that nucleus so that gives a chance for the ones who step in now to show they can become part of the nucleus too.
“We have to find out how we can get the best 23 players to represent us in that tournament.”
With his captain sitting beside him, Hodgson didn’t have to talk up Rooney’s ability regarding the record, confident that his future contribution will continue to be just as valuable as it has been during this successful qualifying campaign.
“[Rooney’s] record speaks for itself, I don’t know if comparisons are such a good thing. [His] record is quite incredible already, goodness knows how many caps he will win and how many goals he will score.
Meanwhile, Rooney, who went level with all-time scorer Sir Bobby Charlton on 49 England goals, after his opener against San Marino was looking forward to the opportunity to break the record at Wembley: “It would be nice to do it at Wembley, an iconic stadium to everyone in England and around the world. It would be nice to do it tomorrow but the most important thing is to win the game and finish the group top.
“I feel I’ve got quite a lot of games to play for England, I’d be disappointed if I ended with 50 goals, hopefully by the time I have finished playing it will be more goals than 50.”
The captain is 10/3 to break the deadlock once more and also notched the last time the Three Lions played a qualifier Wembley in the team’s 4-0 win over Lithuania.