Raheem Sterling set to play number ten for England tonight
Sterling will play in the hole behind Wayne Rooney, with Jordan Henderson a doubt for the clash against Switzerland
September 8th, 2014
England are slight outsiders for tonight’s Euro 2016 qualifier against a Swiss side who reached the last sixteen of the World Cup during the summer, with Roy Hodgson counting the cost of injuries.
The likes of Theo Walcott, Ross Barkley and Daniel Sturridge are already missing the clash, with Jordan Henderson also rated as a doubt after the Liverpool midfielder limped out of the last training session before the clash in Basel.
It could see James Milner come into the team as a defensive midfielder, with Raheem Sterling expected to play in the number ten role behind Wayne Rooney, with the Manchester United forward getting the chance to play further up the pitch.
Danny Welbeck should slot in as part of an attacking trident, with Roy Hodgson denying that his team would be playing for a goalless draw in this Euro 2016 qualification opener.
“Am I seeing the nasty side of the job? No,” said Hodgson. “There is no nasty side. I love this job. It’s a magnificent job. To have the chance to coach your country is the pinnacle of any coaching career. I am aware that, after the enormous disappointment of the World Cup, there may have been a slight swing in popularity. I’d have been surprised had there not been. But the real support and popularity [that counts] is with the group of players I work with.
“I want to be respected by the players for the job I can do as a professional. That’s all that bothers me. I need them to believe that we can move forward and achieve things and I get good vibrations and feelings from them. I’m sure we will never, really, be able to explain to people how badly we felt on the plane home from Brazil. It’s all very well being asked how you feel – you try to put words to it – but the feelings we had in the dressing room after the Uruguay game in São Paulo will live with us for a long time. It’s up to us now to perform.
“Is it enough for us to come here, put 10 men behind the ball and sneak a 0-0? No, I’d say it isn’t. We have to play well and, if it costs us the result, we have to make sure we learn from losing the battle and make sure we win the war. Winning this game does not make us a great team in 2016. Neither does losing it make us a poor team in 2016. We are carrying on the process we started two years ago, despite the massive blow of the World Cup, and we have to make sure after these next two years we are very, very strong.”