Roy Hodgson has promised to make changes to his England side for Tuesday’s European Qualifier against Switzerland, but insists there’ll be no let-up from his in-form side.
Saturday’s 6-0 victory over San Marino was England’s seventh consecutive success in qualifying and sealed their place in next summer’s finals in France.
“Throughout these qualifying matches, we have had a certain procedure and when Wayne [Rooney] and I speak to you we know the team, the players know the team but I haven’t been in the habit of announcing the team and I don’t see why I should change [that],” Hodgson said.
“There will be changes for this one, I can give you that. We will take the game very seriously and we would dearly love to put on a good performance and win the game.”
Once again the spotlight will be on Rooney, who requires just one goal to reach his half-century and overtake Sir Bobby Charlton to become England’s all-time record goalscorer.
Hodgson is confident the talismanic striker will score many more and will continue to be a fixture on the international stage for years to come.
He said: “Wayne’s record speaks for itself, I don’t know if comparisons are such a good thing. Wayne’s record is quite incredible already, goodness knows how many caps he will win and how many goals he will score.
“I never get the impression with Wayne [that] he is trying just to score goals and grab headlines, I always get the impression he is trying play for the team, which is why we all appreciate him so much.
Whether England can go on to make an impression on the latter stages of next summer’s finals will be dependent on injuries – and co-operation from the FA and Premier League, according to Hodgson.
He said: “It will all depend on the year ahead, how we continue our improvement, how much backing we get for some of our ideas from the FA and possibly the Premier League. It would be nice if they didn’t fall upon deaf ears but also it depends on the mentality of the players.
“If you lose the first game for whatever reason you are immediately on the back foot so a lot of things have to click into place, but the one thing I know we will do is we will be as well prepared as possible.
“No details left to chance, so when the players go into the first game they will feel ready for the task.
“The nucleus of the squad I’ll take to the Euros has formed itself over the last three years. We are missing nine players who have been a part of that nucleus so that gives a chance for the ones who step in now to show they can become part of the nucleus too.
“We have to find out how we can get the best 23 players to represent us in that tournament.”
One player who will not be involved on Tuesday night is Michael Carrick who has been left out as precaution.
Hodgson added: “He has a calf injury. We don’t believe it is that serious. It was odd because it came out of nowhere, at the start of the warm-up in San Marino. He felt something and as a precaution we’ve not pushed him.
“He has had a preliminary scan and the doctors felt there is something there and it is up to Manchester United to look at it more closely.”