Hodgson says Vardy may have to wing it

2016-05-24 08:56
Roy Hodgson (AFP)

Manchester - England manager Roy Hodgson defended his decision to deploy Jamie Vardy in a wide role after the Leicester City striker struck the winner in a 2-1 success against Turkey.

Vardy scored 24 goals from a central role to fire Leicester to Premier League glory this season, only to find himself lining up on the left flank in a 4-3-3 formation in Sunday's Euro 2016 warm-up match at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium.

But after being moved into the centre, he won a second-half penalty, which strike partner Harry Kane squandered, before netting a close-range winner in the 83rd minute to take his tally to three goals in three England games.

"We need to be able to play both systems," said Hodgson, whose team will also play Australia and Portugal prior to Euro 2016.

"I don't believe that asking a player like Vardy, or (Danny) Welbeck in the past, to play as a forward on the left or the right side is anything which should cause them any particular problems.

"We've had great success with Welbeck, (Wayne) Rooney and (Raheem) Sterling. We might recreate that with other players. But certainly I don't think we should get ourselves hamstrung in saying that if Jamie Vardy's going to play, we can only play in one system.

"Because Jamie Vardy is going to be one of 23 players and there will be other quality front players looking to compete with him for places.

"I spoke to Jamie before the game. He was more than happy to play in either system and I think it was a success because he's come away with a penalty and a goal."

Vardy, 29, will miss England's next friendly against Australia in Sunderland on Friday as he is getting married on Wednesday.

Hodgson will recover his Manchester United and Liverpool players on Monday - including strikers Wayne Rooney, Marcus Rashford and Daniel Sturridge - after they missed Sunday's game due to club commitments.

He was quietly optimistic about 18-year-old Rashford, his wildcard pick, who hobbled off with a suspected knee injury during United's 2-1 win over Crystal Palace in Saturday's FA Cup final at Wembley.

"We believe it's not a serious injury, but he obviously took a nasty knock," said Hodgson, who gave run-outs to fit-again midfielders Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson.

"We'll have to wait and see tomorrow how he turns up."

Kane's fifth international goal gave England a third-minute lead, but Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu levelled 10 minutes later by sweeping home from Volkan Sen's cross.

Kane wasted a chance to restore England's lead in the second half when he clipped the post from the spot after Mehmet Topal was adjudged to have fouled Vardy.

But Vardy spared the Tottenham Hotspur striker's blushes by pouncing to score after Gary Cahill's header was parried by visiting goalkeeper Volkan Babacan.

It was Turkey's first defeat in 14 games, but manager Fatih Terim, whose side have also qualified for Euro 2016, told Turkish media: "I am happy with the team.

"Players from the Turkish league fought neck-and-neck with players from the world's most expensive league. I really wanted to win this match though.

"Because with this win we could have moved from 13th-ranked team in the world to the top 10. But we are happy to have made such a match in England."

Read more on:    england  |  roy hodgson  |  soccer

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