• Manager looks to younger players for Italy friendly
• Hodgson admits Wayne Rooney not a success in Ukraine
has insisted he will not sacrifice England's old guard despite planning wholesale changes when the team begin the rebuilding process after their Euro 2012 disappointment.
Hodgson will name a young, experimental side for the friendly against Italy in Switzerland on 15 August but the England manager will keep faith with his over-30s once the World Cup qualifying campaign gets under way in Moldova on 7 September, followed by a home game against Ukraine four days later.
Steven Gerrard, who will be 34 just before the 2014 World Cup, has already assured him he wants to continue as captain and Hodgson also expects John Terry and Ashley Cole, who will both be 33, to remain part of the squad. "They have given me every reason to believe they are very anxious to continue," he 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'."
The England manager also named the 34-year-old Frank Lampard and the 31-year-old Gareth Barry as players who could improve this team, pointing to the example of Germany for mixing the right blend of ages. "Everyone has seen how well Germany have kicked on since 2006. They have brought in younger players and the older ones are still performing to a good level. We have to take heart from that."
His priority will be to "evaluate some of the players who haven't been here", meaning call-ups for the likes of Chris Smalling, Tom Cleverley, Jack Rodwell and, fitness permitting, Jack Wilshere for the August friendly.
"I think you will definitely see some revolution there because that game is going to be the ideal opportunity. After that, we go to the September qualifiers and we will have to mix the two together. 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.
"The next question is: 'Can we improve the quality?' and that's something we'll have to work at and I'll have to look very carefully at. If we accept, at the moment, teams such as Germany and Spain are better than us, let's work hard to try to narrow that gap."