Roy Hodgson insists the future looks bright for his young England side, ahead of tomorrow’s European Championship qualifier against Estonia, reports the Express.
The Three Lions fielded a team with an average age of 24 against San Marino, and Hodgson admits his successor is likely to be the real beneficiary of his time in charge of the national side.
“I suppose, looking forward realistically, this team is mostly 21 or 22,” said Hodgson.
“People will tell me players don’t reach their best until they are 27 or 28 so perhaps (I won’t see the best of them).
“I am enjoying enormously working with them and even though there is experience to gain, I am enjoying the moment where they gain that experience.
“They are providing a lot of things which give us a lot of satisfaction.”
Hodgson admitted his selection policy of young players has pretty much decided itself over the past 12 months.
“Strangely, it has manifested itself,” he said. “We didn’t know Sterling would turn out a year ago, the player he is today. We did not know in the early days of Jordan Henderson at Liverpool that he would become the player he is.
“We didn’t know Barkley would kick on. We didn’t know Welbeck when he got his chance, we didn’t know Sturridge when he got his chance (would do what they have done).
“So to some extent, it is something which has happened and I have been lucky enough to be there when it happened and I suppose, bright enough to realise that I don’t have to hang my hat on 30-year-olds and if these guys are that good, I can put them in the team.”