England v Switzerland: Roy Hodgson urges football chiefs to aid Euro bid

 
Ross McLean
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Skipper Wayne Rooney needs one goal to become England’s all-time leading scorer (Source: Getty)
England manager Roy Hodgson insists the country’s football chiefs need to throw their weight behind his blueprint for success if the Three Lions are to mount a bid for European Championship success next summer.

Hodgson is set to shuffle his pack for tonight’s clash with Switzerland at Wembley after England secured their place at the tournament finals by thrashing of San Marino 6-0 on Saturday. A draw would guarantee England top spot in Group E.

A calf problem has ruled Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick out of a game which could see skipper Wayne Rooney surpass Sir Bobby Charlton as England’s all-time leading goalscorer.

Having a strong pool of players to cover the impact of such injuries is pivotal to England’s quest to reach the latter stages of Euro 2016, as is co-operation from key individuals at the Football Association and the Premier League according to Hodgson.

“It will depend on the year ahead, how we continue our improvement, how much backing we get for some of our ideas from the Football Association and Premier League,” said Hodgson.

“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 one thing I know we will do is we will be as prepared as possible. No details left to chance.

“The nucleus of the squad I’ll take to the Euros has formed itself over the last three years. We are missing nine who have been 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 the tournament.”

The spotlight will again focus on Rooney, who notched his 49th international goal against the San Marinese at the weekend before being substituted by Hodgson before the hour mark in Serravalle.

Delays in Rooney reaching his milestone has prompted a surge in ticket sales for tonight’s match, while Hodgson hopes the burden which rests upon the 29-year-old’s shoulders will soon be lifted.

“It’s going to happen. For Wayne’s sake, it’s no doubt sooner the better,” added Hodgson.

“I can afford to be patient but I’d like it to happen, because then we can have a few press conferences where Wayne’s able to talk about other things, other than the pressure he feels under to score the 50th.

“His record is quite incredible. Goodness knows how many caps he can get in the future and how many goals he’ll score.”

Rooney added: “ It would be nice to do it and move on from that and concentrate on the team again.”

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