Hodgson defends Van Gaal over Lingard concerns


Roy Hodgson agrees with Louis van Gaal's concerns that Jesse Lingard's first England call-up may have come too soon.

Manchester United midfielder Lingard was handed a spot in the senior set-up for the first time after Jamie Vardy and Michael Carrick pulled out of the squad ahead of Tuesday's friendly with France due to injury.

United boss Van Gaal stated prior to the international break that an England call-up would be "too much too early" for the 22-year-old, who scored his first senior goal for his club in the 2-0 win over West Brom earlier this month.

Hodgson admits he would not have turned to the inexperienced Lingard were it not for England's injury problems but says Van Gaal was fine with the decision.

"I don't think he [Van Gaal] was wrong to say that," the England manager said.

"Under normal circumstances, we wouldn't have been considering Jesse Lingard at this time, even though he's a very interesting player. I can understand why he said that.

"But the situation has changed enormously. He [Van Gaal] gave his blessing without any problem whatsoever. It would be unfair pushing that back on him."

Hodgson says Lingard won a call-up ahead of Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha.

"We did consider him [Zaha], yes," he added.

"He came in a similar type of player. They're both wingers. We did consider him, but we decided on Jesse."