Football

Published: Friday February 28, 2014 MYT 12:27:02 AM
Updated: Friday February 28, 2014 MYT 12:27:49 AM

Door still open for World Cup hopefuls says Hodgson

England manager Roy Hodgson attends a media conference at Wembley Stadium in London England February 27, 2014. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

England manager Roy Hodgson attends a media conference at Wembley Stadium in London England February 27, 2014. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

LONDON (Reuters) - England coach Roy Hodgson named a 30-man squad on Thursday for next week's friendly with Denmark but told the players not included they still had a chance of making his final 23-man squad for the World Cup finals.

West Ham United's Andy Carroll, Sunderland's Adam Johnson and Everton midfielder Gareth Barry were all notable absentees but, Hodgson told reporters at Wembley: "It would be very foolish of me in March to give a definitive 30 man squad (for the World Cup).

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

However, there was a first call-up for Southampton's teenage left back Luke Shaw, who will still only be 18 when the World Cup starts in June.

There are also places for Liverpool teenager Raheem Sterling, 19, who has the chance to add to the one cap he has already.

"I am very pleased, in this squad you have 14 players, 23 years and under," Hodgson said.

"You also have seven over 30, that is a very good balance. In those 14, there are exciting names playing regularly and succeeding for their teams.

"It is nice to know the balance of players playing every week is much greater than it was two years ago."

Among those youngsters is Shaw, who made his Southampton debut at 16 and first England Under-21 start last September.

An academy graduate, he has played 49 matches for Southampton and is one of four players from the unfashionable south coast club in the squad.

"Anyone who has watched him play would not deny he deserves a place," Hodgson said.

"I think it was the right moment to invite him along with us."

Injuries have deprived Hodgson of centre backs Phil Jagielka and Phil Jones as well as the mercurial winger Theo Walcott.

Coaches of the World Cup finalists have to submit an initial 30-man squad for the finals on May 13 with the final squads being named on June 2.

As well as next Wednesday's match against Denmark, England are playing Peru in a friendly at Wembley on May 30 with further matches scheduled against Ecuador on June 4 and Honduras on June 7. The World Cup starts on June 12.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Celtic), Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion), John Ruddy (Norwich City)

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Steven Caulker (Cardiff City), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)

Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Southampton), James Milner (Manchester City), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur)

Forwards: Jermain Defoe (FC Toronto), Rickie Lambert (Southampton), Jay Rodriguez (Southampton), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United)

(Editing by Rex Gowar)

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