Hodgson has selection dilemma

  • Last Updated: March 6 2014, 15:14 GMT

Roy Hodgson admits it will be much harder for him to choose between Ashley Cole and Luke Shaw this summer following encouraging performances by the pair in England's 1-0 win over Denmark.

Luke Shaw: Enhanced his World Cup claims
Luke Shaw: Enhanced his World Cup claims

Both players shone in their respective 45-minute displays at Wembley.

Hodgson looks set to take Leighton Baines to the World Cup as his first-choice left-back, and the task of picking one of the other two options at his disposal is now even harder.

"I thought Ashley and Luke were both very good," the England manager said.

"It's (a) tougher (decision for me) now, yes, but there's a lot of matches still to be played.

"I'll see a lot of Luke Shaw, Leighton Baines and hopefully Ashley Cole in the coming months.

"I wasn't surprised with Ashley. I'm a great admirer of him.

"I've watched him in training and he's been unbelievably good, and very fit - right at the top of the running statistics - so there's no question about his fitness.

"But he's a specialist player. You don't normally play two left-backs in the team and, at the moment, his manager at club level prefers someone else."

Raheem Sterling, Adam Lallana and goal scorer Daniel Sturridge advanced their World Cup hopes on Wednesday night with good performances in what was otherwise a tepid performance from the Three Lions.

Morten Olsen probably did not mean for his post-match comments to be judged as a slight at Roy Hodgson's men, but the Denmark coach summed England's predicament up perfectly when he said: "Good luck at the World Cup. You'll need it."

Hodgson certainly was not offended by Olsen's comments.

The England manager said: "To suggest that someone wishing you good luck should be regarded as negative surprises me. Every team will need good luck. We didn't need it tonight, that's for sure."

Hodgson, as ever, was at pains to pick out the plus points from the victory, which came in front of just over 68,000 fans.

"The victory was positive," the 66-year-old said.

"We thought in the first half we passed the ball neatly enough, but not with the tempo we were looking for.

"But we put that right in the second half. We got in so many crosses, some a hair's breath from going in or creating a chance.

"That's positive. This was never an easy game. Denmark are no mugs and know how to play football, so it's nice to go away with this victory before we meet up in May when the next matches are preparation."

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