‘Norway game will be tough’

Roy Hodgson is expecting a “tough game” when his England team meet Norway at Wembley on Wednesday night.

The 22-man Three Lions squad has gathered for their first get-together of the new season, with the Norway fixture first up ahead of their opening Euro 2016 qualifier in Switzerland next week.

Hodgson’s squad, which has an average age of 25, includes four new faces as he contends with a number of injuries as well as the retirement of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard. 

England v Norway

International Match
8pm, Wednesday 3 September 2014
Wembley Stadium connected by EE
www.TheFA.com/tickets

And following their World Cup exit from the group stages this summer, the manager accepts there may be some negativity surrounding the England squad, but believes expectations will still be high as they go into the game against Norway.

“Norway will be in the same situation as we are,” said Hodgson. 

“They’ve had some very good players – Morten Gamst Pederson, Brede Hangeland, a group of players who have decided to retire or who are reaching the end.

“But they’ll be hard to beat and it’ll be an exceptionally tough game.”

He continued: “There is a mood of negativity after what happened at the World Cup, and there’s nothing I can do about that. But it won’t help our boys.

“They’ll go out against Norway and no matter how well prepared we get them and however keen they are to do well, they won’t find it easy because Norway aren’t a bad team.

“Anything other than a thrashing of Norway won’t be particularly well-received. But if you ask me now what I think ‘will you go out and thrash Norway?’, I’d have to say, ‘no I don’t think we will.”

England meet Norway at Wembley on Wednesday night to kick off the new season. You can buy tickets online here