Hodgson backs youngsters to 'make a difference'
By Football News
Roy Hodgson believes the youngsters named in his England squad can "make a difference" as he begins to plan for the future.
Tottenham's 22-year-old winger Andros Townsend and Everton's teenage midfielder Ross Barkley have both been handed their first senior call-ups for England's forthcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine, while 18-year-old Raheem Sterling of Liverpool is also involved.
And Hodgson has insisted the trio have been included to make an immediate impact, despite their inexperience at international level.
"In choosing these players, we're giving ourselves a chance to look at players who have a very bright future and can make a difference to the game as we have seen at the top level of the Premier League," the England manager said.
"Players like Barkley, Townsend and Sterling can make a difference and are in the squad on merit. It's nice they are younger and have a great future."
Hodgson was particularly keen to work with Barkley again having seen the 19-year-old first hand when he looked after the Under-21 squad for their friendly clash with Scotland earlier this month.
"He (Barkley) impressed me when I worked with him at St George's Park and in the England U-21s match," he continued.
There was also support for two of the more senior members of the squad - Wayne Rooney and Joe Hart - from the manager.
Both players have had their problems this season, as doubts over Rooney's future at Manchester United continue, while Hart has made mistakes in goal for Manchester City.
"If anyone is able to deal with the scrutiny then it's Wayne Rooney," Hodgson insisted. "(And) I have complete faith in Joe, he's a top-class goalkeeper to work with."