Concord Rangers boss Danny Cowley: What I'd do if I was England boss

Concord Rangers manager Danny Cowley

Concord Rangers manager Danny Cowley

First published in Sport

ENGLAND'S match with Uruguay tonight is a vital match for the two teams, both having lost their opening group games.

Hodgson faces a number of selection dilemmas for the match, with a defeat all but ending England’s chances of qualification.

We asked Concord Rangers manager Danny Cowley what he would do, if he were put in Roy Hodgson’s shoes for the game.

ENGLAND did really well against Italy,” said Cowley.

I look at how far we have come from 2012 and it is clear to see Hodgson has a different mindset and a more attacking set-up than Fabio Capello. We keep the ball much better and have pace in the side that I certainly have never seen before.

“Against Italy it all came down to small margins and England should be disappointed with both goals they conceded. The first was well-worked but the goalscorer wasn’t closed down and the second saw Baines exposed and poor marking at the far-post.

“Against Uruguay our ball retention needs to be addressed. We set-up with an attacking formation but as a team with poor ball retention we won’t be able to play four attackers and be solid against the South Americans.

“I don’t know if 4-2-3-1 is the best formation as the Uruguay team rely so heavily on their attackers and our holding midfielders could be overrun. I would consider bringing Milner in.

“But then again – against Italy going forwards the system worked for us and I really liked the way we played.

"If we are looking for short-term success we should play (Wayne) Rooney behind (Daniel) Sturridge, with (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain and (Raheem) Sterling on the wings. If Oxlade-Chamberlain isn’t fit I would look to Milner but the wingers must track back whoever is chosen.”

Cowley said he didn’t agree with the level of criticism levelled at Rooney, but said he does need to play centrally to be most effective.

“As good as Sterling was in the ‘number ten role’ it didn’t suit Rooney and that is something that has to be addressed,” he said.

“I saw glimpses of his brilliance against Italy but he has to play where he is best. He always takes responsibility.

“As a nation we have to be realistic as I don’t think this World Cup will end in ultimate success but it is a development process and we can take some heart in that.”

Cowley XI: Hart – Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines – Henderson, Gerrard (c) – Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rooney, Sterling - Sturridge.


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