Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Let's Give Our Boss Roy a Headache - Gerrard

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Let's Give Our Boss Roy a Headache - Gerrard

Article excerpt

ROY Hodgson was full of cold as he met the media yesterday, but captain Steven Gerrard had no sympathy as he challenged the squad to give the England manager a selection headache lasting all the way to the World Cup.

A friendly at home to Denmark tonight will be the last chance for a player to make his mark on the international stage before Hodgson names his 23-man squad.

With 30 players being called up for the game against the Danes, it is clear Hodgson is tstill undecided on the exact make-up of his squad and Gerrard said now is the time for individuals to give their final push for a place on the plane to Brazil.

"It is time to start getting excited," Gerrard said with 100 days until the tournament starts.

"It will be here before we know it. It is time as a player you want to continue to impress the manager or grasp your opportunity to impress.

"That is the chance tomorrow, try and win the game and play well personally and for the team and make sure the manager doesn't leave you out the 23."

For Hodgson it is a chance to have a closer look at new-boy Luke Shaw, with Steven Caulker, Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling also looking to stake a claim.

The England boss wants a positive performance at Wembley but insists the game itself will not be the sole basis on any decisions.

"I'm looking for them to show that they take it very seriously and are anxious that I shall pick them," said Hodgson.

"I'm not prepared to overexaggerate the importance, I'm not going to suddenly pick someone I wouldn't have picked because he scores a goal against Denmark."

The squad for Denmark contains a number of players who are not currently considered automatic firstchoice selections for their clubs. Chelsea pair Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard are spending more time on the bench, while Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley are not guaranteed to start for Manchester United.

Hodgson admits it is an issue he has been dealing with since he first took charge but refused to rule anyone out of a World Cup berth as a result.

"There is a trail of thought that the players who do play every week will by piling up the games," he said. …

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