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Brooking: Time is of the essence
Sir Trevor Brooking accepts new England manager Roy Hodgson would probably have liked more time to prepare for Euro 2012 - but is in no doubt the players will know just what is expected of them when they tackle France in Donetsk on June 11.
Hodgson will meet up with the squad for the first time in Manchester on Wednesday afternoon, having allowed players to take a short break. Chelsea's John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill - plus stand-by player Daniel Sturridge - have been given extra time off after the Blues' Champions League final victory.
"Roy is an experienced coach, but I am sure if you asked him he would say he wanted longer in the job to prepare the side," said Brooking.
The former West Brom boss will have just 19 days, with friendlies against Norway and Belgium, to fine tune his plans ahead of their Group D opener.
Brooking added: "Chelsea did really well and we congratulate them on their Champions League success, but it does mean some of their lads will be coming in after the first warm-up game and I know there are three or four injuries as well at present.
"Maybe the game against Norway in Oslo is more about giving all the squad members a chance to play and even some of the standby players who at present will be wanting to show their worth to Roy for the future."
Brooking told Press Association Sport: "They meet up on June 5 and fly out on the 6th and then the first game against France is a really tough one, but by then everyone will know what is needed from them.
"It is about trying to get off to a good start, we all know group situations are pretty tight and looking at the group they will be very close affairs."