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Roy Hodgson coy on England 23-man squad for Euro 2016

Daniel Sturridge
Image: Daniel Sturridge is struggling with a calf problem and missed the friendly victory over Australia

Daniel Sturridge's fate appears to be weighing heaviest on Roy Hodgson as the England manager prepares to name his final 23-man squad for Euro 2016.

Hodgson must announce his squad for the finals in France by Tuesday and is currently weighing up how best to balance his options in midfield and attack, with two players set join the injured Fabian Delph in missing out. 

Sturridge is currently struggling with a calf problem and missed the 2-1 victory over Australia at Sunderland's Stadium of Light on Friday night. 

Marcus Rashford scored England's opener, 138 seconds into his senior international debut, boosting his chances of inclusion and seemingly leaving Sturridge vulnerable. 

England's Marcus Rashford celebrates
Image: Marcus Rashford enjoyed a sensational England debut, scoring inside three minutes against the Aussies

Sturridge is the only player left in the squad who has not featured in the last two friendlies, but Hodgson says consideration is still being given to all potential options ahead of the tournament. 

"People are deciding it is either or between Rashford and Sturridge or between two midfield players, etc etc," Hodgson said.

"I don't mind that, but nobody is giving more thought to the subject than we are ourselves.

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"There were some good performances (against Australia) and some that weren't quite so good. That's probably to be expected.

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"If anything I feel more comfortable with the decision I have to make than I did going into the game.

"But never on one occasion will you find me quoted as saying, 'we can only have x number of forwards, we must have this many midfield players'."

Sturridge has made just 43 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool in the past two seasons and his fitness in the demanding setting of a major international tournament is likely to be a question mark surrounding his potential selection. 

Daniel Sturridge dejected after losing to Sevilla on Wednesday
Image: Sturridge has struggled with injuries over the past two seasons

Pictures of Sturridge sitting in the stand at the Stadium of Light, apparently looking at his phone mid-match, caught the eye of some social media observers on Friday, but Hodgson read nothing into that.

"He wasn't on the bench. In an ideal world you'd want them all to be following the game as closely as I do but this is 2016 and people grow up in a different environment," he said.

"The one thing I would say about Daniel is don't try to start questioning his commitment or his desire. If I go to Daniel Sturridge and tell him he isn't going to France, he'll be as disappointed as any other player.

"If I choose him it will be because I am convinced he can handle those situations, and if I choose him it will be because I believe he will be able to help us come back with good results from the tournament."

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Hodgson has also stressed that from now onwards he does not want his squad sidetracked by club matters.

Transfer speculation will surely rage in the coming weeks, but the primacy of England will be upheld by the manager.

"I won't say an agent won't sneak in here or there. But we won't encourage that," he said.

"One thing this group of players know and have accepted very well is when you're on England duty, you're on England duty.

Image: Roy Hodgson has called for focus from his squad ahead of Euro 2016

"It's not a question of you sorting out your future or you diving off for medicals. We control all of that.

"You have to accept that there's a good chance if you say, 'look I need to go for a medical', we'll say, 'no, we're not allowing that, you better bring your people here'.

"We'll do everything we can to facilitate. We're not trying to block players' futures or transfers, but as far as we're concerned our ongoing theme is 'England's England, your club's your club'.

"When you're with England we want you to stay focused on us."

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