England news

England bosses meeting over fixture clash

October 1, 2012
By Harry Harris, Football Correspondent

Roy Hodgson and Stuart Pearce are set to meet in the next 24 hours to discuss the upcoming fixture clash between their respective England senior and Under-21 sides and the potential problem of player selection that may arise.

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England face a World Cup qualifying double header against San Marino and Poland on October 12 and 16, while the Under-21s will face Serbia twice in the Euro 2013 play-offs on the same dates.

The clash means that certain players, such as Tottenham defender Steven Caulker, could be caught in the middle of a tug of war, with both managers wanting to select them.

"As both the senior and Under-21s fall on the same dates, the two managers will need to get together in the next day or two to sort out their squads," an England insider told ESPN.

Hodgson might be considering picking Caulker, 20, who has impressed in Spurs' last four games, while Pearce would also be keen to call on a player who has featured in his past squads on numerous occasions.

The England manager may be forced to call on Caulker after the retirement of John Terry and with Gary Cahill struggling to break into Chelsea's first team - with his choice of centre-backs looking thin on the ground.

However, if Pearce was to get his way over Caulker then it could possibly open the door for a Hodgson re-think on Rio Ferdinand.

Ferdinand, 33, was left out of the England Euro 2012 squad for "footballing reasons" but the player has said he will not turn his back on his country.

Yet the poor performance of Ferdinand against Tottenham on Saturday - a match watched by Hodgson, his coach Gary Neville and FA director of communications Adrian Bevington - may have done him little help in the way of earning a recall.