Hodgson happy to risk wrath of Wembley fans

Roy Hodgson looks set to experiment with his line-up against Denmark in March even though defeat would make him the only England manager in history to lose three successive home games.

Boos rang out yet again at Wembley on Tuesday as Per Mertesacker’s header for Germany condemned England to back-to-back home defeats for the first time since 1977.

Hodgson looked at 25 players during the losses to Germany and Chile, with Jay Rodriguez, Adam Lallana and Fraser Forster making their debuts.

Jordan Henderson and Kieran Gibbs returned to the international fold after a long absence while Ross Barkley and Tom Cleverley were given a chance to prove they are worthy of a ticket to Brazil.

England now have only one game — against the Danes — before Hodgson names his provisional 30-man World Cup squad on May 13.

Even though another home defeat could have a psychological impact on the team, Hodgson thinks it is vital he has another look at his fringe players when the Danes come to London in four months’ time.

“I might risk a third defeat, but for the game against Denmark it might be that we actually use players that we need to test out more and that we rest the players who we are 100% certain of,” the England manager said.

“That’s a possibility. It’s more likely than us going into that game with just one-and-a-half days’ preparation thinking, ‘Let’s get our best 11 out on the field’. That might not give me the answers I want for the squad.”

The euphoria of World Cup qualification may have evaporated — the booing at the end made that clear — but Hodgson is not concerned about England’s World Cup hopes.

“We certainly have no reason to panic,” the 66-year-old said.

“If anything I think I am much wiser after the two games with regard to the players I have at my disposition and with regard to what we need to work on going into Brazil.

“Booing at the end of games these days is par for the course.

“I feel that our fans have been very good support. Of course they are disappointed. They wanted us to win but we couldn’t. As far as I am concerned, we have a learned a lot from these two games.”


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