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Hodgson wants more from Barkley

2014-06-05 13:00

Cape Town - England manager Roy Hodgson has bemoaned an "obsession with Ross Barkley" following the 2-2 draw with Ecuador on Wednesday.

The 20-year-old made his first start for the Three Lions and produced an eye-catching performance, providing the assist for Rickie Lambert's 51st-minute goal.

Due to the midfielder's strong performances on the domestic stage with Everton last season, there have been calls for the playmaker to be fast-tracked into England's starting line-up.

However, Hodgson is wary of rushing Barkley's progress, insisting the youngster still has much to learn.

He said: "There always seems to be an enormous obsession with one player.

I will be prepared to start any of the players in any game but I'm not prepared to address your obsession with Ross Barkley.

If he's going to be the player we want him to be, he has to make better decisions when he turns with the ball."

While he insisted that he wasn't criticising Barkley's performance, the former Liverpool manager felt there were other players who were deserving of praise.

He added: "That's not a criticism but there were other performances out there today. [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain and Phil Jones were outstanding, as was Jack Wilshere in the middle of the park, while Rickie Lambert scored a magnificent goal."

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