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The 60-year-old former England Under-21 and Bahrain manager believes criticism of the Three Lions boss is harsh given the injuries that have afflicted a squad that lacks depth

England Under-20 manager Peter Taylor has defended Roy Hodgson following criticism of his approach with the national team after last week's 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland.

The Three Lions had to come from behind in the Wembley friendly, and former England striker Gary Lineker labelled Hodgson's tactical approach "a step back to the dark ages".

But Taylor believes the critics should consider the injuries that have plagued Hodgson's players during the current international break as well as the wider concern over squad depth.

"Sometimes you have 20-odd players there and you're putting two players to every position," he told Sky Sports.

"You don't want to name the team too early because you want to keep the spirits high and sometimes if you name the team too early, the others know they're not playing and they don't get so involved.

"Just to have 15 bodies available, I think it'll allow them to get into preparation much quicker.

"At the moment we haven't got enough depth in our players so we need everybody fit. We especially need centre forwards fit and doing well."

Andy Carroll had to withdraw from the squad prior to the game against Giovanni Trapattoni's side before Daniel Sturridge was stretchered off with an ankle injury inside the first 30 minutes.

Danny Welbeck has since been ruled unavailable for Sunday's friendly against Brazil, leaving the Three Lions short on numbers for their visit to the Maracana.

"In Roy's case he's had Andy Carroll injured, he's had Sturridge not 100 per cent fit and [Jermain] Defoe's been injured for a lot of the season as well," he added.

"Our best strikers haven't been fit enough so we haven't got enough of them. Only Rooney's been fit enough. You've got to have goal scorers and centre-forwards who can put it in the net.

"I think all English coaches are delighted that Roy is head coach. He encourages everybody to improve, he puts himself out.

"He puts on sessions for other coaches to see the type of things he does and would like to be done.

"I think he's been a success and the players more importantly, look as though they're comfortable playing for him. They look very, very organised and I think they're playing good football."