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England U17s have tough road ahead

 By Kevin Palmer

England's Roy Hodgson confident Raheem Sterling can play anywhere

England manager Roy Hodgson said he will consider deploying Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling in a central attacking role in next Monday's vital Euro 2016 qualifier in Switzerland.

Sterling impressed in England's friendly versus Norway when he switched from a wide role to a berth behind the lead striker in the closing stages of the game. Hodgson was clearly open to the idea of playing 19-year-old Sterling in a central position.

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Sterling was moved to a role behind lead strikers Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge for the final 20 minutes of the international following the withdrawal of skipper Wayne Rooney from that role and Hodgson hinted he liked what he saw from the Liverpool youngster.

When asked by ITV Sport whether Sterling could be used as a central attacker against the Swiss next week, Hodgson offer this response: "Yes, we could certainly consider that.

Josh King, left, and Jordan Henderson battle for the ball in their international friendly match at Wembley Stadium.

"The good thing with the players we have at the moment, many young ones out there and three making debuts [against Norway], is that we have these options.

"We changed the way we were playing in terms of the system quite radically with about 20 minutes to go when Welbeck came on alongside Sturridge and Sterling playing behind. I thought we got that going as well.

"I also learned from these players that we are not restricted to playing one particular way and with a little bit of luck we could have aggravated the score, but the important thing was the victory."

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Hodgson admitted he was frustrated by his side's slow start to the second half, but he took encouraging aspects from the display as he spoke to the BBC.

"We enjoyed some positive moments, some good movement and good play," he added. "Our passing was good, although I was not very happy with how we started the second half.

"Without letting Norway into the game totally, we gave them hope. For the last 30 minutes we were pretty good value for our victory. We wanted a clean sheet and got that. We wanted high-tempo passing play. All the things I wanted I thought I saw for large periods of the game."


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