England squad to be announced on 13 May, with Hodgson having to trim down his 30-man squad to 23 players
Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Raheem Sterling all boosted their chances of making England’s 2014 World Cup squad on Wednesday night after impressing Roy Hodgson, with the trio now hoping to be selected ahead of more experienced rivals.
Lallana was probably the player who did the most to convince the England coach that he should be on the plane for the 2014 World Cup, with the Southampton captain replacing Jack Wilshere on the hour mark and assisting the only goal of the game.
However, Sterling stood out on the right win as he replicated his current form for Liverpool, while Luke Shaw is a viable alternative to Ashley Cole after the 18-year-old acquitted himself well during the second half of the 1-0 win against Denmark.
Hodgson declared himself satisfied after the game and thought the team’s second-half performance was especially impressive.
“The second-half performance in particular, the young players, the energy we brought to the game, and the determination to get beyond a packed Danish defence even though we’d done it on quite a few occasions only to find a goalkeeper [Kasper Schmeichel] in outstanding form, those were the positives,” said Hodgson.
“The victory, too, and the fact we put a lot of youngish players on the pitch who haven’t played a lot for England, and they did a good job and improved their chances. The level of competition is getting greater.
“I wanted the young players to have a chance to get out there and play and I’m sure Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana will go back to Southampton feeling very positive. Lallana was very good. Very, very good. But we’ve been building this up over the last couple of years. This wasn’t the first time Raheem Sterling has got a game, or Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, Chris Smalling or Jack Wilshere. I’d just like to think these players will grow in confidence playing in the Premier League for their club sides over the remainder of the season.
“This was an important game tonight, and it was important we put in a good performance. I wanted a level of energy, with players running back when they lost the ball, making tackles from the wrong side, not being afraid to make mistakes knowing, with their pace, they can recover.
“That’s what I did see, and we put the icing on the cake with the goal to win it. The younger players are doing well at the moment. Hopefully people will be impressed with their performances, and I’ll have to make a decision going forward.”
The players in the England squad now have two months to continue impressing Hodgson, with the likes of Andy Carroll still hoping to play their way into contention.