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Home » Sport » Football

Roy Hodgson England can win Euro 2016

Roy Hodgson has told his England squad they have the potential to win next summer’s European Championships and has urged his young side to maintain recent progress before the tournament in France.

England have a pristine record in Group E and qualification would be assured with victory over San Marino, ranked 192 in the world, on Saturday.

Hodgson, whose contract with the Football Association expires after Euro 2016 with no talks planned as yet over an extension, gathered together his 22-man squad at St George’s Park on Tuesday evening and outlined his aspirations for the season ahead with the focus fixed firmly on excelling in France.

The national manager began by briefly reflecting on June’s victory in Slovenia, which maintained a six-point lead over Tuesday’s opponents, Switzerland, in the section, before turning attention to the fixtures ahead. “But he then said we can either go one way, keep winning and stay the way we are, or we can go up another level in our performances,” said the recalled Jonjo Shelvey. “Because there’s no reason why the England team, with the players we’ve got in this country, can’t go to the European Championships and win it.

“And that’s what Roy Hodgson wants us to do and what we all want to do. It was quite an upbeat meeting. He also spoke about winning all 10 games in the group and hopefully we can go out and do that. There’s no reason why we can’t and I think we’ve got the ability in the team. No matter who plays, I feel anyone can do a job. But first we must get these two wins. The manager just made it clear he wants us to win and I’m sure we can.”

The group concludes with games against Estonia and Lithuania next month.

The Swansea City midfielder Shelvey, whose only cap came as a substitute against San Marino in a World Cup qualifier in October 2012, is expected to play at the Stadio Olimpico in Serravalle on Saturday, when Wayne Rooney hopes to claim the two goals he needs to break Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time scoring record. The 29-year-old captain, who has not scored in the Premier League since April but registered a hat-trick in the Champions League qualifier against Club Brugge last week, is one goal shy of Charlton’s 49; Harry Kane will gain his third cap at his side and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also likely to feature.

The FA’s chief executive, Martin Glenn, has been “hugely impressed” with Hodgson but does not intend to address the manager’s future until after Euro 2016.

The 68-year-old, for his part, has publicly indicated a desire to remain in the position beyond the expiry of his current contract. Of those mooted as potential long-term replacements, Shelvey extolled the credentials of Swansea’s Garry Monk, who has previously described the possibility of taking up the reins with the national squad as “the pinnacle” of an Englishman’s coaching career.

“He loves to have every detail right in training,” said Shelvey of Monk. “We do a lot of meetings off the pitch and he’s always on your case. For me that’s what I need as a footballer but he’s different with each player. I think he can one day become England manager because he’s got all the abilities.

“It must be hard going from club captain, hearing all the banter in the changing room every day, and then making that transition to be the manager. He’s done that exceptionally well. His banter is still there, but not like it was as a player. You’ve seen what we’ve done on the pitch and the results we’ve picked up, how well we did last season and how well we’ve started this one, so there’s no reason why he can’t be in the frame in the future.” Meanwhile, England have drafted in Wolves defender Dominic Iorfa to train with the first team. The 20-year-old had been with Gareth Southgate’s under-21s but was brought in to sample England training under Hodgson.

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