Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hodgson Hits out at Baines Injury Ruling

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hodgson Hits out at Baines Injury Ruling

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Hirst

ROY Hodgson hit out at UEFA over the rule change that has left him with just one fit left-back for today's Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia.

Kieran Gibbs will make just his second competitive start for the Three Lions after Leighton Baines pulled out of the squad yesterday with a hamstring injury.

Baines suffered the injury just after at the start of England's training session at St George's Park, which began at 11am - the exact time when he submitted his 23-man squad list for the match to UEFA.

Hodgson had left his other leftback Luke Shaw off the list because he wanted to rest the Manchester United defender so he could play in Tuesday's friendly in Scotland.

The Football Association (FA) contacted UEFA to ask for Shaw to replace the injured Baines on the list, but their plea was rejected.

"I can't pretend that I think it's a great idea that you have to name 23 players almost 36 hours before the game," said the England manager of the rule, which was brought in earlier this summer.

"Training injuries do occur and people do get injuries and fall sick.

"I would like to think that if you are allowed to have 23 players in your squad that you should at least have the right (to) a little bit longer than 36 hours.

"I did know about the rule. My hope was that because we were only 25 minutes late when we applied to bring Luke back into the squad that maybe UEFA would look at that and say 'it's a reasonable request and we can show some flexibility', but they decided that wasn't possible, that the rule is the rule, and that 11 o'clock is the deadline and because the injury occurred 25 minutes past 11 we missed it."

Michael Carrick and Andros Townsend pulled out of the squad earlier this week due to their respective groin and ankle problems, which means the England boss is now down to 23 players. …

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