Hodgson’s warning to Zaha and Sterling

ENGLAND manager Roy Hogdson has warned dual nationality youngsters Wilfried Zaha and Raheem Sterling not to take their call-ups for granted, insisting they should be thankful for the opportunity.

Zaha and Sterling, born in the Ivory Coast and Jamaica respectively, are in the squad to play Sweden tonight as Hodgson looks to bring youth into his future plans.

However the players could still opt to change allegiance to their country of birth even if they feature in the game tonight because it is not a competitive fixture.

"If any players prefer to play for a national team other than England they are welcome to do so," said Hodgson. "If our national team is not strong enough motivation for them then they are not the type of player we want anyway.

"Perhaps I naively assume that when you give a player who has played for the Under-19s and Under 21s that, they would want to play for the national team.

"I'd expect them to cycle there. I'd expect they'd be thankful for the opportunity."

Hodgson dismissed claims that Zaha had been fast-tracked into the squad largely to make sure he plays for England in the future.

"He has been selected on the basis of the past couple of years," he said. "When the opportunity arose with a gap in the squad it was an obvious chance to bring him in."