Former-Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has praised John Terry's 'magnificent' performances for England at Euro 2012, and has urged Roy Hodgson to stick with the England veterans heading into World Cup qualification.
Redknapp thinks the likes of John Terry and Steven Gerrard still have an important role to play in Hodgson's set-up, although the ex-Spurs boss admits Italy were better than England on the night, and deserved to progress to the semi-finals.
"It would have been an injustice if we'd won," said Redknapp. "They had twice as many touches as us. Roy Hodgson did the best he could with that squad."
And Redknapp, who was a contender himself for the England job after Fabio Capello's resignation, believes the future of England lies in finding an Andrea Pirlo-type player for the Three Lions. Pirlo controlled the midfield for large parts of the quarter-final, and Redknapp pointed to the Juve star as the difference between the two sides.
"With Andrea Pirlo in there it was extremely tough for our boys to make an impact," said Redknapp. "The match showed that the way forward points to a man like Jack Wilshere. His absence was keenly felt because he can be like Italy's Pirlo and can certainly dictate play the way Italy's experienced man did."
But Redknapp warned that it would be wrong to right off England's experienced players too early, and believes Terry and Gerrard especially have important roles to play as Hodgson puts together a side capable of making an impact at the World Cup in Brazil.
"Gerrard was still our best player at Euro 2012," said Redknapp. "John Terry was magnificent. We still need those players as now there is World Cup qualification for Brazil in 2014 to think about."