Roy Hodgson plans England get-togethers
England manager Roy Hodgson has revealed that he hopes to re-unite his squad for mid-season get-togethers in a bid to bridge the gap until their next fixtures in March.
London: England manager Roy Hodgson has revealed that he hopes to re-unite his squad for mid-season get-togethers in a bid to bridge the gap until their next fixtures in March.
England`s 3-1 victory over Scotland in a friendly last Tuesday saw them end the year with a run of six consecutive wins, which they last achieved in June 2006.
But with four months due to elapse until they play Lithuania and Italy in March, Hodgson does not want his players to forget about their international commitments.
"It would be nice if we could get them together on one or two occasions," Hodgson told journalists earlier this week.
"Either as a whole group, which would be perfect, or if that wasn`t possible, either in two groups -- maybe a Manchester, northern group and a south group -- and at least have an evening with them at one stage in the Premier League calendar where they don`t have three matches in a week.
"I`d have to talk to the clubs about that, because I don`t have the right, but I would like to think, with my relationship with the managers, if I said, `Look, we`ve got a meeting between five o`clock and eight o`clock. Can you send us your players on a Thursday night, when there`s nothing going on for them?`, I would be very surprised if any of them said, `No, we don`t want to do it.`
"And I`ve already broached the subject with the players and they`re already on board."
Hodgson added: "It`ll be a continuation of maybe talking about what we`re trying to do, and then hopefully there`d be a dinner where we could ask them a few questions. You know, `How are things going?`"It is two and a half years since Hodgson succeeded Fabio Capello as manager and despite England`s abject display at the World Cup in Brazil, where they went out in the group phase, there have been signs of progress.
Hodgson has successfully presented opportunities to Danny Welbeck and Raheem Sterling, who have become first-team stalwarts, and has also blooded young players such as Luke Shaw, Calum Chambers and Ross Barkley.
Asked how close he felt he was to creating his own England team, he said: "I`ll put my hand up for this team here (that played against Scotland).
"You`ve got to be careful of always looking for some sort of vision. You can only be the team that you are. If we could play as well as that and do the things we`re doing, which I think are the right things to be doing, in game after game, I`ll settle for that now.
"But the one thing I will profit by is the fact that in a year and a half`s time, this under-25 team will be an under-27 team.
"Players at the moment who have played twice for England, like Nathaniel Clyne, or once, like Fraser Forster (actually three times), or seven or eight times, like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (actually 20), they might be up at 10, 15, 20 caps.
"They might be up in good Premier League games and Champions League games, and that`s got to be to their advantage and to my advantage."
England are currently six points clear of second-place Slovenia in their Euro 2016 qualifying group. They host Lithuania in their next qualifier on March 27 before visiting Italy for a friendly on May 31.