Roy Hodgson ready to test England fringe stars before Euro 2016 mission

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Roy Hodgson will look to experiment with his team in the final three European Championship qualifiers after securing England's place in France.

England booked their ticket to Euro 2016 on Saturday with a predictably comfortable 6-0 win over San Marino.

Hodgson has overseen an impressive turnaround since England were eliminated from the World Cup at the group stage last summer.


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The Three Lions were the first nation to qualify for the tournament held in France next year after winning all seven of their games. They are the only nation to boast a 100-per-cent record and are now unbeaten in 12 matches.

The temptation is there to stick with the same faces that guided England to the tournament in the remaining three matches, but Hodgson would prefer to tinker with his squad and test new ideas so he has alternatives in mind for next summer.

"I'm not sure early qualification gives us any particular advantage because we are going to take a lot of time to plan and improve anyway," said the England manager, whose next test comes on Tuesday at home to Switzerland.

"What it could do is give me the opportunity for experimentation because we did not get that ahead of the World Cup when we had to win our last two qualifiers to get to Brazil."

In the second half of last season Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and Ross Barkley impressed sufficiently to break into Hodgson's World Cup squad, and it seems places are up for grabs for Euro 2016 too despite England's impeccable qualifying record.

That could be good news for the likes of Jonjo Shelvey, who started his first England game in three years on Saturday.

Although the calibre of opposition was extremely poor, Shelvey performed well at the heart of midfield - an area where Hodgson is short of options.

The Swansea midfielder, who set up Harry Kane for England's fifth in Serravalle, did his chances of making the plane to France no harm at all, it seems.

Hodgson said: "I thought Jonjo showed real maturity out there.

"We all know what he can do with his passes and with his capacity to find passes, but I also thought he was extremely assured in possession.

"He was excellent."

Shelvey is looking to feature against Switzerland, as well as Estonia and Lithuania next month, after being given a second chance by Hodgson.

"It's always nice to pull on the England shirt, and at senior level it's the highest place you can do it," the 23-year-old said.

"It's just a great honour to start a game and hopefully there will be many more to come."

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