THE three Saints players in Roy Hodgson’s England squad look likely to get a pep talk from Sir Dave Brailsford this week ahead of the World Cup.
With the Group D opener against Italy less than three weeks away, the Three Lions and their three Saints will be following-up their Portugal training camp by meeting up again at St George’s Park on Monday.
This will be England’s last week on home soil, with a friendly against Peru at Wembley on Friday before Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and the rest jet off to Miami – and then on to Brazil.
Before heading off to the warmer climes of Florida, Hodgson is hopeful that Brailsford, pictured below, the man who has masterminded British cycling’s impressive rise, will speak to his squad to offer an insight on how to fulfil potential and seize the moment.
“We’re hoping Dave will come to St George’s and speak to the players alongside psychiatrist Steve Peters next week,’’ the England boss said. “Steve’s there because he’s working with us.
“Dave’s working hard and he’ll do his utmost to be there. I can’t ask to pin him down because he’s got a big, big job and part of his big job doesn’t really involve coming to St George’s Park to speak to England players, but I’m hopeful.’’ As well as being optimistic about Brailsford speaking to his players, Hodgson is also upbeat about England’s chances in Brazil this summer.
The last tournament was Hodgson’s first in charge, with England going out of Euro 2012 on penalties at the quarter-final juncture to Italy, but the Three Lions boss believes he now has a deeper pool of talent at his disposal.
“There’s so much competition for places at the moment that it would be very bold of me to say ‘this is my best team’, especially in those front positions there’s an awful lot of competition and an awful lot of talent,’’ he said.