Football

Published: Wednesday April 30, 2014 MYT 6:27:01 AM
Updated: Wednesday April 30, 2014 MYT 6:31:04 AM

Hodgson unimpressed by late form

LONDON (Reuters) - England manager Roy Hodgson has ruled out making any late changes to his World Cup squad based on "last-minute form" in the final weeks of the Premier League season.

Hodgson, whose team face the daunting prospect of battling through to the knockout stages of the tournament finals in Brazil from a group that also includes Italy and Uruguay, said the final weeks of the season are a "notoriously bad time to judge talent".

"All I can do is be really clear in my mind with what I want to do as a squad and which players I want to take," he said on the FIFA website (www.fifa.com).

"Nothing that happens in the last four games, in terms of form, is going to affect me. I don’t judge players on their last-minute form over two or three games.

"I’m judging them over two years. Or, in particular, if anyone new on the scene has emerged I’m judging him over several months."

Hodgson will name his 23-man squad on May 13, while they open their World Cup campaign with a Group D match against Italy in Manaus on 14 June.

"As a manager I was never keen on making strong judgements on players, either to buy them or to sell them or to retain them in the last two or three weeks of the season," he added.

"I wanted to make my decision around the November-to-early-March time because that’s where things are really done."

(Reporting by Toby Davis; editing by Alan Baldwin)

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