England trying to move on

2014-09-02 14:55
Wayne Rooney (Supplied)

London - A new-look England team will take on Norway in a friendly at Wembley on Wednesday with their minds focused on the future.

Having bombed at the World Cup as they went out in the group stage, England now have their eyes firmly fixed on qualifying for the European Championships in 2016.

Wednesday's friendly with Norway offers them the perfect chance to hit the ground running but manager Roy Hodgson is warning fans not to expect too much too soon.

"There is a mood of negativity after what happened at the World Cup and there's nothing I can do about that," he said. "But it won't help our boys.

"They'll go out against Norway and no matter how well prepared we get them and however keen they are to do well, they won't find it easy because Norway aren't a bad team.

"Anything other than a thrashing of Norway won't be particularly well-received. But if you ask me now what I think 'will you go out and thrash Norway?', I'd have to say, 'no I don't think we will'."

The retirement of captain Steven Gerrard and veteran midfielder Frank Lampard has left the 22-man squad with an average age of 25.

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson said it was time for the new brood to step up and take their opportunities.

"It is a little strange not having Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard around, but it's a chance for the younger players to step up," he said.

"I feel as though I'm starting to become one of the older members of the squad and with that comes more responsibility.

"The new players who are coming in are young, but it doesn't matter how old you are. They'll do well and will look forward to it."

Wayne Rooney will captain a side that will be without full back Glen Johnson while Adam Lallana has only just come back for Liverpool.

Another Liverpool player, Raheem Sterling, said the younger players in the squad were desperate to stake their claims.

"Me and Calum Chambers are the youngest members of the squad and we're here to try and impress the manager," he said.

"I don't really look at ages, I just try to play the game and do my best, I can learn a lot off the players here."

Hodgson said Norway will give his side a tough game.

"Norway will be in the same situation as we are," he said.

"They've had some very good players - Morten Gamst Pederson, Brede Hangeland, a group of players who have decided to retire or who are reaching the end.

"But they'll be hard to beat and it'll be an exceptionally tough game."


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