Hodgson: I won't push out old guard like Villas-Boas tried to

The England manager was questioned over his decision to select John Terry and Frank Lampard in his latest squad, but believes dropping the pair cost the former Chelsea boss his job
England manager Roy Hodgson has defended his decision to select players perceived as members of the "old guard", and believes that dropping such players contributed to Andre Villas-Boas' sacking from Chelsea.

Hodgson was recently quizzed over his inclusion of Stamford Bridge pair John Terry and Frank Lampard in his latest squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine.

But he pointed out that phasing out long serving players, as Villas-Boas attempted to do when he left Lampard, Ashley Cole and Michael Essien out of a 3-1 defeat to Napoli two weeks before his departure, can prove costly.

"Andre Villas-Boas, when he took over at Chelsea, decided that maybe it [dropping the old guard] was the way he would go, yet eventually they were the players who came back and helped win the Champions League," Hodgson told reporters.

"I want to win matches and I won't be prepared to throw players away of Terry, Lampard and [Steven] Gerrard's quality until I'm sure that there are much better options to take their place.
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"Frankly that's not happening at the moment. They are important for their clubs and when they don't play their club teams miss them enormously.

"First they have to let me down, but they haven't done that as yet. In fact, quite the reverse. I would suggest that Terry and Gerrard were two of the most important people in the Euros."

Terry has proved a particularly controversial selection, with the Chelsea skipper currently facing a racism charge from the FA, which he denies.

"I choose him as a player. Some people are criticising him, some are championing him," added Hodgson.

"I have no interest in that debate. I'm told I can pick who I want. The other aspect has no influence on my thinking."