England manager Roy Hodgson has revealed he “deliberately ignored” a number of his England regulars to give more inexperienced stars the chance to stake their claim for a place in his Euro 2016 squad.
Hodgson has named his 24 man team to face Germany and Holland in a double-header of friendlies, which will present him with the final chance to see his players in action before he selects his team for the summer’s European Championships.
Danny Drinkwater has been rewarded for his exceptional form this season with his first ever senior call-up, with Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick seemingly making way for the Leicester man.
Full-backs Kieran Gibbs and Leighton Baines also missed out on a place in this squad, but Hodgson insisted that doesn’t mean their hopes of making the Euros are by any means over.
“On this occasion I deliberately ignored Kieran and Leighton, because I know their qualities and come May I’ll be in a position to still include them, if I want to,” Hodgson added.
“On this occasion I chose to take Danny Rose and Ryan Bertrand who appeared with us later than those other two, two players we know a little bit less.
“Michael Carrick I spoke to last night. We brought Danny Drinkwater in this time. I didn’t want to bring in Michael unless I was going to play him. That doesn’t mean to say he’s disappeared off the list.
“They’re players who have been with us and who deserve consideration. Phil Jones is still injured and we’ve got all the other injured players.”
Hodgson added: “At the moment we’re looking at a fairly large group, with this group of players, but who knows? There are still five or six weeks left of the season, let’s leave the door open.
“It’s going to be a task for people to break in, as it should be, because anyone who breaks in is going to take the place of someone who has been there for two years doing quite well.
“Having said that, I’m not prepared to say ‘this is it’. There are players outside of this squad, least of all the injured ones, but also one or two others who could easily have been included in this squad.
“I’ll be closer [to final decisions after the friendlies], there’s no question about that.”