ENGLAND boss Roy Hodgson has hinted that a number of Saints young stars could still force their way into his World Cup plans.
The England manager – who has handed international debuts to Saints trio Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez so far this season – has spoken in glowing terms of Saints’ use of homegrown players this campaign and identified some of the club’s young guns as potential England stars.
“More teams are injecting young English players into their teams and trusting them,” the England boss said.
“Southampton are regularly using people like [Luke] Shaw, [James] Ward-Prowse, [Calum] Chambers, Jack Cork and [Jay] Rodriguez.
“So more and more teams are turning to their academies and the young players they are bringing through, which is of course a positive thing.”
The Three Lions kick off their 2014 fixtures on Wednesday, March 5, when Denmark arrive at Wembley Stadium and, while Hodgson can only take 23 players with him to the World Cup in June, he will initially submit a 30-man squad to FIFA before whittling down to the final group.
“We are likely to choose more than 23 players because we want to start focusing people’s minds on the World Cup and the major task we have ahead,” he added.