England at the Etihad
- Thu 24 May 2012, 1:41PM
- Posted by Nicola McCarthy
City hosted the England squad as Roy Hodgson gets Euro preparations under way
The sun was shining on the Three Lions players as they stepped up their preparations for Euro 2012 at City’s very own Etihad stadium.
The team - led by captain Steven Gerrard – appeared in good spirits as Hodgson put them through their paces ahead of Saturday’s friendly against Norway in Oslo.
Meanwhile, Joe Hart was being worked hard by coaches at the north stand, where he made many key saves for City last season.
Finding a spot in the shade, the newly crowned manager quickly got down to business with a brisk warm up - the players looking focused on the job at hand.
With memories of Premiership success still fresh in their minds, City players looked strong and sharp during a short training match which followed, under Hodgson's watchful eye.
Lescott, who’s pushing hard for a place in Hodgson’s back four, looked solid at the back, clearly on a mission to demonstrate his worth to the manager.
Amid the spring sun, the cool head of Gareth Barry stood tall in the centre of the park, showing why he deserves a shot at a big tournament, after a disappointing World Cup in South Africa two years ago. Also in contention for a place in centre midfield is James Milner, who faces stiff competition for a place.
Even in a training game, Joe Hart shows why he is a clear choice for England’s number one spot. Saving a number of close range shots from various angles, it’s clear that if England are to progress in the tournament, his contribution will be vital.
Roy Hodgson showed all the signs of a man in charge as training drew to a close, talking the players through the session and no doubt putting his own stamp on the way things will run under his instruction.
England’s first fixture is against France on Monday June 11 and we'll be following events very closely. We'll also provide coverage of the whole tournament, with match reports, features and of course we'll keep the spotlight on City players and their progress throughout the tournament.
All of this will kick off on May 29, with player and team previews, to make sure you're ready to go on June 8!