Roy Hodgson admits "selection headache" as players yet to find out team news

The England manager spoke to the media ahead of heir opening game against Russia and insists he is confident in his side's ability to go far.

Roy Hodgson admits "selection headache" as players yet to find out team news
Hodgson in England training earlier on Friday | Photo: Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images Sport

Roy Hodgson admitted he has a "selection headache" with England ahead of their opening Euro 2016 game against Russia on Saturday evening.

The England manager also insisted he has yet to name his first starting line-up to his players and will do so on the morning of the game.

Accompanied by captain Wayne Rooney at his pre-match press conference for their opening game in Group B, Hodgson said that England "are here to make an impact" but despite an extensive pre-tournament schedule of warm-up games where England traveled the country, Hodgson is yet to name his opening side to his squad.

England confident in abilities

He stated that he hasn't "named the team yet" and he will "have a team meeting on Saturday morning" to break the news to his players. There has been great speculation around the first starting line-up after assistant Ray Lewington was pictured holding a teamsheet in training, on full view to the media. Reports on Friday morning indicated Hodgson was considering a last-minute alteration to his side by dropping midfielder Jack Wilshere and striker Jamie Vardy.

Hodgson would not reveal anything about his team selection, sensibly, but spoke of England's hopes for the tournament.

Hodgson says he is confident going into England's opener | Photo: Michael Regan/The FA
Hodgson says he is confident going into England's opener | Photo: Michael Regan/The FA

The 68-year-old, when questioned how far England can go in France over the next month, said "it's an impossible question for coaches" and instead it is "for everyone else to speculate on" but, of course, England "want to go as far as possible."

Hodgson admits "selection headache" ahead of opener

He admitted that "there is definitely a selection headache for me" but he was quick to say that he is not "alone in that situation" and is "pleased" with the options he has, particularly up front where there is great strength in depth.

"If we perform to the level we think we can perform to, then we will make it difficult for our opponents," said Hodgson 

The history could play a part in England's summer with July 30th this year marking the 50th anniversary of the Three Lions' World Cup triumph, their only major international tournament victory. Hodgson said that he hopes "people back home will like what they say" but he, and his players, know that they "will always have to live with the fact that it's 50 years since we won a tournament and 20 years since we got to a semi-final," remarkably for such a talented football country.

England celebrate in their final warm-up game - Portugal | Photo: Matthew Ashton/AMA
England celebrate in their final warm-up game - Portugal | Photo: Matthew Ashton/AMA

The Golden Generation has been and gone, although Rooney still remains, and Hodgson said that "we will have to wait and see what this tournament brings" instead of looking back at those years of failure because "the important thing is to not get too hung up about the past" as "the only thing we can have an effect on is the present."

Hodgson urges England fans to avoid trouble

Questioned over trouble involving England fans, although not necessarily caused by England fans, Hodgson refused to be drawn in too strongly on the matter. His message, however, was that the fans who have traveled to France already and are continuing to do so must "avoid any troubles that might be lurking around the corner" but the players, coaches and staff "appreciate your support."