Hodgson - Age doesn't bother me

13 June 2012 07:19

England boss Roy Hodgson insists he is not worrying about his central midfield pairing Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker running out of steam at Euro 2012.

With that area of the team especially depleted by injuries, England need Gerrard and Parker to stay fit, but playing every four days is bound to sap the energy of two players who are over 30.

But Hodgson said on BBC Radio 5 Live: "Scott's 31 and Steven 32, we're not talking about old players."

He added: "Certainly Sweden have players considerably older than our team and I think I heard that we are the third youngest squad in the tournament.

"Age doesn't bother me, obviously when you go into the third game you are going to be concerned for all your players, not just Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker. You're going to be concerned for them all whatever age they are because three games played in Ukraine in heat takes it out of everybody.

"But we have the players I think in the squad to step up to the plate and I'm pretty sure that first of all these players will be wanting to play all the games and they'll be working very hard as they've done after this France game to make certain they recover and are ready to go again."

England take on Sweden on Friday as they look to build on their 1-1 opening draw with the French.

And Hodgson revealed the line-up to face the Swedes is likely to be similar to the one which started on Monday.

He said: "I think so. As yet we haven't actually picked the team of course and I am certainly not prepared to say at this stage whether there will be changes or no changes.

"But there won't be wholesale changes, that's for certain because we don't have any injury problems and the players who did well against France are all hoping to get picked to play again."