England boss insists squad will be picked on merit

England manager Roy Hodgson has slammed suggestions that his squad will be picked on reputation alone as it has in the past, as reported by Sky Sports.

The likes of Tom Cleverley, Chris Smalling and Ashley Cole were selected for Hodgson’s squad against Denmark last week despite finding no form at all for their club sides.

However, Hodgson has now set his mind on selecting the most in-form squad ahead of Brazil which he is set to name in two months’ time.

The England boss knows he will have to justify every seat on the plan to South America and so will not be selecting players on loyalty alone.

“The pressure does get greater now and I think people will have to accept that it is my job to pick the best 23, and I have to do it on the merits of the players,” the England manager said.

“It’s not like it has been in the past sometimes where loyalty can be rewarded.

“If you are on the plane, you are on it because I really believe you have a role to play and I could justify it to myself.

“People will say ‘he has made a mistake by not choosing him’ but that doesn’t interest me as much.

“I need to justify it to myself, I need to know I made the right decision and then I will accept other people’s criticisms.”

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