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Friday 01 June 2012

Hodgson allays Parker injury worries

England boss is confident about Tottenham Hotspur midfielder's fitness

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Scott Parker has won 12 caps for England

England manager Roy Hodgson has played down injury fears over Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Scott Parker.

There were worries that an Achilles injury for the 31-year-old could have threatened his participation in Euro 2012 - which would have been a huge blow for England after injuries to Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry ruled both players out of the tournament.

Parker missed Tottenham's final four matches of the season with the problem.

England take on Belgium at Wembley Stadium on Saturday afternoon in their final warm-up match ahead of the European Championship and Hodgson said he had no specific worries about the Spurs' man's fitness.

"We're quite happy that by the time we play France people will be in good physical shape"
- Roy Hodgson

"No, not particularly, no more so than the obvious one that we were going to have, that when he came to join us having not played for Tottenham in the last two or three matches in the League," he said.

"So that was obviously going to be a factor, but we also knew we had lots of training time.

"And now in the two weeks we've been training he's taken part in every training session and he's also played 60 minutes already [against Norway] and he's available to play tomorrow.

"So he'll be getting fitter by the day, as will Wayne Rooney, and we're quite happy that by the time we play France people will be in good physical shape."

England's opening match in the tournament in Poland and Ukraine sees them take on Laurent Blanc's France in Donetsk on June 11th.

France have been on a superb run since the former Manchester United defender took charge, with the team going 20 matches unbeaten under his guidance.

"England-France has always been a very important fixture," added Hodgson.

"The French seem to think it will be the key match in the group, but you never know that until the group gets going.

"We're looking forward to it and we know it won't be easy.

"The French are on a fantastic unbeaten run, but all runs have got to end sometime and we hope we're the ones that will bring that run to an end."

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Key Points

  • England manager Roy Hodgson is confident about Scott Parker's fitness
  • Parker suffered with an Achilles problem at the end of the season
  • England have already lost midfielders Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry to injury