Hodgson discusses Rashford and England squad selection

Mark Holmes
Roy Hodgson: Keen to extend stay as England coach

Roy Hodgson: Keen to extend stay as England coach

Roy Hodgson says it will be “very interesting” to see whether Marcus Rashford can have an impact for England at the European Championship.

Rashford was included in Hodgson’s 23-man squad for France just months after breaking into the Manchester United team.

Eight goals in 18 appearances for the Red Devils earned him his chance for England before a goal three minutes into his international debut against Australia last Friday helped earn him the nod in the final party.

Hodgson said: “Rashford’s had that fantastic end to the season and he’s a very, very interesting player.

“He has special qualities and I think that’s been recognised by everybody – and it will be very interesting to see in a squad of 23 whether or not he can bring those qualities to bear at an even higher level.”

On his decision to leave Leicester’s Danny Drinkwater and Newcastle’s Andros Townsend out of his squad, Hodgson added: “It was a very difficult decision (to trim the squad to 23).

“For a long period of time, if anything, we haven’t had an enormous amount of choice and sometimes there have been comments that we don’t have enough players to pick from.

“Suddenly we do have a lot of players to pick from and it was a very tough decision for me.

“I was very happy with the 26, I was delighted with the way the three guys who didn’t get selected for the final 23 worked and yesterday was a difficult day for me having to tell them they weren’t going to be in the final 23.

“But I must say the players were fantastic, they were unbelievably understanding of the need that I had to make a decision. They ended by wishing everybody well and that they had enjoyed the preparation time. They made the job as easy for me as it could possibly be.”

Speaking at a press conference ahead of Thursday’s last warm-up game against Portugal, England captain Wayne Rooney added: “I think the way he took to coming into the Manchester United team and the way he’s performed from when he’s come in until the end of the season has been incredible really.

“He’s certainly showed what he can do in his first game for England, getting his first goal in the first couple of minutes.

“I think what’s pleasing about him is his attitude. It’s first class and that’s shown around the hotel and on the training pitch and he deserves it.

“He could be a real positive for us.”



Meanwhile, Southampton defender Ryan Bertrand missed training once again through injury, but Hodgson expects him to be in contention for England’s opening Euro 2016 fixture against Russia.

He said: “It’s not a concern. I’m afraid when you play two preparation games you run the risk of picking up a slight injury or knock, but it’s not a serious injury and we’re pretty confident he will be fit for when we play Russia.

“It’s an injury that will obviously keep him out of tomorrow’s game, but it’s not a long-term concern at all.”