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The Liverpool legend feels the Three Lions need to blend youth and experience to compete in the next World Cup, and insists that this process must begin immediately



Former England midfielder John Barnes believes Roy Hodgson must hand his young players as much experience as possible ahead of World Cup 2014 in Brazil.

Young recruits including Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could prove key to any success the Three Lions harbour, and the former Liverpool midfielder expects Hodgson to start giving the less experienced players larger roles and more responsibility within the team.

Barnes feels many new faces must become the core of the national side before they make the journey to Brazil, with many of the 'golden generation' being phased out in favour of fresh talent.

However, he insists that this process must begin now, so that the new generation of footballers can gain the experience required to handle a World Cup. 

"I think the team heading out to Brazil will have a very different look than England teams in the last 15 years, because in the last 15 years it’s been the same," Barnes insisted.

"Beckham, Lampard, Gerrard and Cole [have] been the England midfield forever, and of course Terry and Ferdinand [have] been around for a long time.

"Now I don’t expect them to be there in 2014 to be honest with you. Very few of them will be there in 2014 so it’s going to be a very, very new England squad, and that is why I’m hoping for this new England squad really to be put in place from now.

"You don’t want all off a sudden to change the squad in 2014 for a lot of the old players not to be there anymore, and then all these new young players [to come] to a World Cup with no experience, and that’s really been the problem in the past.

"But that 2014 squad I think if you look what Roy Hodgson’s doing now and integrating a lot of the players in the squad now, I think you’re going to see much more of that between now and 2014."

John Barnes was interviewed on behalf of William Hill, Official Supporters of the England team.

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