England midfield options concern boss Hodgson

Date published: Saturday 14th November 2015 4:30

Michael Carrick: Stretchered off in the final minute of defeat

Michael Carrick: Stretchered off in the final minute of defeat

Roy Hodgson admits he is concerned about the amount of injuries suffered by England’s midfielders after Michael Carrick was injured in Spain.

Already without 15 regulars, Hodgson was left cursing his luck as Carrick suffered suspected ankle ligament damage in the 2-0 defeat to Spain in Alicante on Friday.

The Manchester United midfielder, who has only started two England games since the World Cup because of injury, twisted his right ankle in the dying minutes of the loss on the Costa Blanca.

With Jordan Henderson, Jack Wilshere, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain out, Hodgson is lacking experienced midfielders for Tuesday’s game against France, which will go ahead despite the terror attacks in Paris.

Dele Alli, Eric Dier and Jonjo Shelvey have just nine caps between them, while Fabian Delph is unlikely to start having just come back from injury and Ross Barkley may also need a rest after playing the whole 90 minutes in Spain.

“Going into the game on Tuesday it’s a bit worrying,” the England manager said.

“The midfield is already very, very depleted and (on Friday) we lost another player in Michael Carrick.

“And of course we want to be a bit careful with Fabian Delph because it was tough for him out there (against Spain) after the absence he has had from football for so long.”

This is the fourth time Carrick has had to withdraw from the squad this season.

He has not been available for three more international get-togethers since the World Cup due to injury.

“We think he has twisted his ankle and normally that means ligament damage,” Hodgson said.

“We will have to get it scanned. We hope it is not that serious. It will keep him out of Tuesday and I fear it will be longer than that which is amazing misfortune for him because Michael comes back and we are looking to play him maybe in both games but he is another player missing so we are a little bit wounded in that respect.”

Wayne Rooney will return to the starting XI after being used as a second-half substitute against Spain.

Jamie Vardy’s participation is in doubt after he missed Friday’s friendly through injury.

That means Harry Kane may start his second game in the space of five days for his country.

The Tottenham striker admitted the 2-0 reverse, which came courtesy of goals from Mario Gaspar and Santi Cazorla, was his toughest match in an England shirt.

“Yeah, I think (it was the hardest),” said Kane, who was making his seventh appearance for his country.

“Spain are a world-class side and they have some great players, but these are the teams we want to be playing against because hopefully we will get far in the Euros and that’s what we will be up against.

“It’s good to test ourselves and we gain a lot from it, a lot of experience and we know what we need to work on.

“It is just about staying positive now for the game on Tuesday.”

Kane hopes England will bounce back by beating the French.

He added: “We’re playing at home at Wembley and we want to put in a good performance and get a win.

“France will be tough, they have got some great players as well, but we’ve just got to stay confident, stay focused and do the right things.”

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