Hodgson opens door for Carroll

The West Ham forward???s name came back into Hodgson???s mind after his side???s 3-2 win over Slovenia in their European Championship qualifier last weekend when asked whether Jack Wilshere’s second stunning goal was the best of his England tenure.

Hodgson said he remembered Carroll???s header in England’s second European Championship group game in 2012 against Sweden when the big striker rose to beat his marker in the centre of the box and nodded in Steven Gerrard’s pin-point cross to set his side on their way to a 3-2 victory.

Since that tournament, however, Carroll has played just 62 minutes of international football and, despite repeated calls from then-Hammers boss Sam Allardyce, he was left out of Hodsgon’s World Cup squad last year, with the manager opting for Rickie Lambert instead.

However, despite another injury-plagued season last year, Hodgson would welcome the towering forward back into the fold, and dismissed fears England would revert to long-ball tactics with the former Newcastle man in the starting 11.

“I don’t close doors,” Hodgson said when asked about the possibility of a recall for Carroll.

“Rickie did a very good job for us, Charlie Austin has been with us and I am not going to be so hung up where I say: ‘unless you are a certain type of footballer there is no chance for you’.

“If Andy can recapture his form, you know how much of a handful he is as a player, so who knows? He could quite easily become a player we look at.

“That is up to him. He has been very unfortunate with injuries, I can only hope he can recover from his injuries in the same way that Phil Jones and Jack Wilshere have.”

Carroll, who scored five goals in 16 appearances last term is said to be on the radar of a number of clubs this summer, including former side Newcastle.

But, as Hodgson pointed out, he faces stiff competition to regain his England place. A couple of years ago, the Three Lions boss was bemoaning the lack of strikers available to him, but now he is blessed with several options.

Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge are all certainties when fully fit. Theo Walcott is doing his chances no harm as a striker with his form for Arsenal, and there are three goal scorers who are ready to step up from the U21 squad.

Saido Berahino and Danny Ings scored 25 Premier League goals between them last season and Hodgson confirmed Harry Kane would have been in the senior squad for the games against Slovenia and the Republic of Ireland had he not gone to the European U21 Championship.

Austin also appears to have a future with England despite failing to make his debut this month.

“Charlie has shown us in training that he has qualities, but I can’t guarantee players a game when they get called up,??? Hodgson said.

The England boss said he cannot guarantee a call up to any youngster who impresses in the Czech Republic either.

“The field is open as long as they realise this group here is doing pretty well so it’s not just a question of: ‘well you have played well for the U21s, you had a good tournament you will automatically be there’ because it’s going to be hard for me to throw some of these out to make way for them,” the England manager said.

John Stones, Luke Shaw and Kane will be called up for the next double-header against San Marino and Switzerland, provided they avoid injury this summer, Hodgson added.

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