The Straits Times
Published on Sep 02, 2012

English football manager Hodgson backs old guard


LONDON (AFP) - Roy Hodgson has launched a passionate defence of England's old guard as he prepares to use the aging stars to form the spine of his team for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

England start on the road to Brazil next Friday with their opening qualifier in Moldova followed by a home game against Ukraine the following week.

And despite England's tame exit from Euro 2012, Hodgson has resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes to a squad that still relies on the same players who have been in place for the last eight years.

Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard will captain England in Chisinau with John Terry anchoring Hodgson's defence alongside his Chelsea teammate Ashley Cole.