England news

Neville: Hodgson set to experiment

August 9, 2012
By ESPN staff

Roy Hodgson is expected to experiment when he names his first England squad of the season on Friday, with several senior players expected to miss out.

Gary Neville
GettyImagesGary Neville was appointed as England coach by Roy Hodgson

Just weeks after England suffered penalty shootout agony at the hands of Italy, Hodgson will face the Azzurri once more, with the sides meeting for a friendly in Berne.

The Italians are also expected to make changes from their side that took part in the European Championship, with England's tormentor Andrea Pirlo expected to be excused.

Besides the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Tom Cleverley, who enjoyed successful Olympic campaigns, it is thought that Kyle Walker, Jack Rodwell and Adam Johnson could all play a part.

Speaking at a Sustainability in Sport initiative event, England coach Gary Neville said: "Roy Hodgson was very clear that he would always use friendlies to have a look at people he hadn't seen before or to develop new ideas.

"He has good ideas about what he wants to do with this friendly. It is the only environment he will have to look at people, but they have to be the right players and they have to be ready.''

The FA has been forced to defend the timing of the friendly, which takes place in the week leading up to the season, as England gear up for their opening World Cup qualifier in Moldova on September 7.

"You have to consider what you want out of a game,'' Neville added. "We are at the end of pre-season, the league is just about to start and we have three days to prepare, so you are not going to get a perfect performance.

"Also I am not quite sure it will have an effect on the Moldova game. I played in a lot of England friendlies when the result wasn't backed up in the competitive matches afterwards.

"What we need is a good quality performance to keep the momentum going. We are unbeaten so far in terms of normal football and are developing a squad that can take the country towards the World Cup.''