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Gerrard and old guard to continue

England manager Roy Hodgson has indicated that Euro 2012 was not the last stand of the England old guard. Captain Steven Gerrard has also confirmed that he wants to continue to lead the team as long as he is required.

Gerrard will be 34 by the time of the World Cup, but Hodgson believes that he, and other thirtysomethings John Terry and Ashley Cole, can still offer England a substantial contribution.

"They have given me every reason to believe they are very anxious to continue," Hodgson said. "John Terry has been excellent, as has Ashley, as has Steven. So I've not even thought of asking the question: 'Will you continue?' Because they would have to knock me over with a feather if they came to me and said 'I'm not'."

Hodgson also left the door open for senior players who weren’t at Euro 2012, like Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry. He sees experience as vital when England begin their World Cup qualifying campaign in September. "We have to retain our defensive discipline, organisation and teamwork and make certain we retain the desire to be part of an England team, to go the extra mile."

England’s next game is another meeting with Italy, in a friendly at Wembley in August. Hodgson will use that opportunity to name an experiemental squad and take a look at some younger players. This may mean call-ups for Chris Smalling, Tom Cleverley, Jack Wilshere and Jack Rodwell. "I think you will definitely see some revolution there," Hodgson confirmed, "because that game is going to be the ideal opportunity."

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