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Hodgson has one eye on the future

12 November 2012 14:20

England manager Roy Hodgson plans to give youngsters a chance to play for England and leave a legacy when his time is up.

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha is the latest prospect to be included in the senior squad for Wednesday's friendly with Sweden despite having made only five appearances for the Under-21 side.

Hodgson explained the importance of selecting players who might not be ready to contribute immediately so they are prepared for major tournaments in years to come.

"When you select a squad of 23 players, there is plenty of space to put some in there who arguably might not be ready today," Hodgson said.

"Bearing in mind if we're going to qualify for (World Cup 2014 in) Brazil, it's in nearly two years' time.

"Some of these young players who are around the fringes of our squad - getting some experience, getting a feel of what it might be like to be a Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard or Ashley Cole (is good)."

The St George's Park National Football Centre for England's developing talent was opened in October and Hodgson is optimistic that the future is bright.

The former West Brom manager is keen to leave a legacy beyond his own spell in charge of the country by placing his trust in the next generation of England players.

"That's the job if you're a national coach," Hodgson said of the balancing act.

"Some people suggest the eye on the present should be your only focus. I don't agree with that.

"I think that you should be trying to do the job in the present while at least bearing in mind that one day you're no longer going to be the manager and what are you leaving behind?

"What sort of work will have been done when your time with the national team happens to be over?

"There's no doubt we're going to see a vast improvement over the coming 10 years, and I think you see it already if you look at the young players that are coming through today.

"(Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain, (Danny) Welbeck, (Tom) Cleverley, (Ryan) Bertrand, (Kieran) Gibbs, (Jack) Wilshere - in all of these players you can see that technically they are of a very good level. It can only get better."

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 16 +23 39
2 16 +19 36
3 16 +12 31
4 16 +8 28
5 16 +12 26
6 16 +9 26
7 16 -2 24
8 16 -4 23
9 16 +2 22
10 16 +3 21
11 16 -3 21
12 16 -3 19
13 16 -10 19
14 16 -5 17
15 16 -10 16
16 16 -5 15
17 16 -13 15
18 16 -13 14
19 16 -8 13
20 16 -12 10

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