Hodgson: Carroll could still go to World Cup

ENGLAND manager Roy Hodgson insists West Ham striker Andy Carroll could yet go to this summer’s World Cup in Brazil, despite yesterday’s omission from the 30-man squad to face Denmark at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday.

Highly-rated Southampton left-back Luke Shaw is the only uncapped player selected by Hodgson for the last friendly before the end of the season. Swansea defender Steven Caulker and Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling earned recalls, but Carroll, together with in-form duo Gareth Barry and Adam Johnson, were overlooked.

Hodgson, without injured central defenders Phil Jagielka and Phil Jones, insists his 23-man party to contest this summer’s showpiece in Brazil is far from finalised.

“This is the squad I have chosen for now,” he said. “It would be foolish of me in March to give a definitive 30-man squad [for the World Cup].

“Andy Carroll has hardly played since his injury, Adam Johnson is a player we know and because of the competition we have decided not to include him in this squad. The same with Gareth Barry.

“I really do hope that people don’t look at this squad as a 30 and some will drop out and the rest will go to Brazil. I’m not prepared to give that guarantee.”

Hodgson is due to name an initial 30-man World Cup squad on 13 May, two days after the conclusion of the Premier League season, and then trim his squad to a final 23 to travel to Brazil on 2 June, three days after a home friendly with Peru.

England kick off their World Cup campaign against Italy on 14 June.

“In this squad you have 14 players [who are] 23 years and under,” added Hodgson. “In those 14 there are exciting names playing regularly and succeeding for their teams.

“The balance of players playing every week is much greater than it was two years ago.”

ENGLAND SQUAD

GOALKEEPERS: Forster, Foster, Hart, Ruddy

DEFENDERS: Baines, Cahill, Caulker, Cole, Johnson, Smalling, Shaw, Walker

MIDFIELDERS: Barkley, Carrick, Cleverley, Gerrard, Henderson, Lallana, Lampard, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sterling, Townsend, Wilshere

FORWARDS: Defoe, Lambert, Rooney, Rodriguez, Sturridge, Welbeck