McManaman in mind for World Cup

Roy Hodgson says Wigan midfielder Callum McManaman has an outside chance of making a late surge in to England's World Cup squad.

The man of the moment... McManaman!

With seven months left until the World Cup starts, England manager Hodgson admits he has very little idea about who will be in his 23-man squad for the tournament in Brazil.

The England boss only has three matches to go before he names his squad and he concedes places are still very much up for grabs.

Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez were shock call-ups to the squad for the forthcoming friendlies against Chile and Germany and Hodgson has thrown another shock name in to the hat in McManaman.

The 22-year-old won the man of the match award in last season's FA Cup final, but he is now plying his trade in the second tier of English football with 10th-place Wigan.

"I can't honestly say I've got 18 names stamped with five more to come. I can't because there is a lot that can happen between now and May," Hodgson said.

"We've got a few on the fringes who we look at, like Callum McManaman for instance.

"We were talking about him the other day. He was flying for Wigan at the end of last season and then he got that unfortunate injury, so he's one we'll have a look at.

"We have been following his progress.

"There are certain players like that who aren't out of our radar.

"I would be lying if I didn't say he has a lot to do (to make the World Cup squad), but it is certainly not impossible."

There always seems to be a late shock addition to the ranks in the build-up to international tournaments, but the mention of McManaman's name will come as a surprise to many.

It does, however, prove that the England manager has an open mind about selection for next year's tournament.

Hodgson has been criticised for erring on the side of caution since he took the job.

The inclusion of James Milner is often greeted with derision, for example, but the England manager has not been afraid to go against the grain in recent months.

Hodgson surprisingly called up Rickie Lambert in August and he repaid the England boss handsomely, as did Andros Townsend when he starred against Montenegro and Poland last month.

Now it is the turn of Lallana and Rodriguez, who will both feature against Chile at Wembley on Friday.

Hodgson caused surprise among the assembled media when he suggested the pair could be thrown by the wayside if they failed to perform against the South Americans.

"It's going to be a big night for them if they get their chance and unfortunately if they do fail spectacularly and do really badly, it will be held against them," the England manager said before backtracking slightly.

"But I would like to think that I will make my judgements on these players not purely on their success or relative failure during the 90 minutes but on what feeling I have got for them during these get-togethers and also what I see of them week in, week out in the Premier League."

With Steven Gerrard out through injury, Frank Lampard will captain the side on a night when he will receive a golden cap to mark his century of international appearances.

Hodgson would reveal little else about the make up of his XI for the Chile game.

Joe Hart's recent poor form was a hot topic at Thursday's press conference in Watford. As had been expected, Hodgson confirmed Hart would not start the game, but he refused to reveal whether it would be Fraser Forster or John Ruddy who replaced him.

"Joe Hart won't be starting tomorrow," the England manager said.

"You will have to work out for yourself which of the other two will."

When asked whether both Norwich stopper Ruddy and Celtic goalkeeper Forster could both feature, Hodgson said: "It's possible".

Rickie Lambert pulled a muscle in training so he is out of the Chile game. Daniel Sturridge is unlikely to be risked as he has a foot problem so either Jermain Defoe or Wayne Rooney will start up front.



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