Hodgson implores clubs to release players early for England duty

The Three Lions boss supports Chelsea's move to allow key men to return quickly from post-season tours to face Ireland and Brazil and hopes that other managers will follow suit
England manager Roy Hodgson has implored Premier League managers to follow Chelsea's lead and allow their English players to return early from post-season tours in order to prepare for the forthcoming international friendlies.

The 65-year-old has named his squad for the two friendlies, at home to Republic of Ireland followed by an away excursion to Brazil, but the former fixture falls on May 29, just a few days after tours for the likes of the Blues and Tottenham.

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Chelsea stars Frank Lampard, Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole have all been given permission to return early from their tour, where they face Manchester City, in order to report for international duty - a move that Hodgson wholeheartedly advocates.

"We are grateful for that, it would be nice if Man City do the same. I don't know whether they can," the England boss told Sky Sports.

"It would also be nice if, for the game in the Bahamas, maybe the couple of Tottenham players that are in the squad didn't have to play and had the chance to rest up. Of course, I don't get to make those decisions. That will depend on the club coaches but they could certainly do us a favour if they wanted to.

"I know that the players I have selected are very keen to come; I can only hope that they are able to survive injury in these games.

"If not then I will have to turn to some others because I left some quite good players out of this squad so I'm not short of reserves."