Roy Hodgson has hinted he could give fringe players a chance to stake their claim for a place in the England squad at next year’s Euros.
After their emphatic 6-0 win against San Marino, England have become the first team to qualify for Euro 2016 after hosts France and have three games left to spare in Group E.
“I’m not sure early qualification gives us any particular advantage because we are going to take a lot of time to plan and improve anyway,” Hodgson said ahead of Tuesday’s game with Switzerland at Wembley.
“What it could do is give me the opportunity for experimentation because we did not get that ahead of the World Cup when we had to win our last two qualifiers to get to Brazil.”
The news could see the likes of Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland and Tottenham midfielder Ryan Mason add to their single England caps in the coming months, as relative newcomers in Swansea maestro Jonjo Shelvey and Leicester City forward Jamie Vardy look to fully establish themselves into the England set-up.
Hodgson did reserve special praise for Shelvey after he made his first appearance in an England shirt since his debut in 2012, saying: “I thought Jonjo showed real maturity out there [against San Marino].”
“We all know what he can do with his passes and with his capacity to find passes, but I also thought he was extremely assured in possession. He was excellent.”
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