Wilshere `an important cog` for England`s midfield, feels Hodgson

Last Updated: Sunday, October 6, 2013 - 18:51

London: Roy Hodgson insists he has no concerns over the amount of playing time Jack Wilshere receives at Arsenal ahead of England`s crucial World Cup qualifiers.

The England manager has praised Arsene Wenger`s handling of the youngster`s injuries and is not worried over his lack of playing time at club level

The 21-year-old, who is competing for a midfield place with Mesut Ozil, Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini, has completed three of his last six matches for Arsene Wenger`s side.

England require home victories over Montenegro and Poland to be certain of securing top spot in Group H and qualification to the World Cup, and Hodgson maintains Wilshere will play a vital part in both games.

"I`m hoping that he`ll turn up on Monday fully fit to play, and then it`ll be up to me to decide whether I want to put him in the first team and the starting line-up," Hodgson told reporters.

"Just as I guess Arsene, every week, has to decide `do I put him in the starting line-up or do I play someone else in front of him?`

"He`s in an Arsenal team at the moment with competition for places in midfield that`s very strong, anyway. But he`s an important cog in our midfield thinking."

Hodgson says his usual priority is to manage Wilshere`s fitness issues when the midfielder is on international duty and has praised Wenger`s handling of the player`s injury problems.

"I don`t really have a concern," said Hodgson.

"My concern over Jack has always been whether he is actually physically fit to play or whether he`s suffering from an injury.

"I`ve been led to believe that he doesn`t suffer from that injury. He missed a lot of football, didn`t he? It was a year and a half then he had to have another top-up to the operation this summer.

"For a young man, he`s had an awful lot of serious injury problems but the way that Arsene has managed him since will help us."


First Published: Sunday, October 6, 2013 - 18:51

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