Hodgson plea for clubs’ help

St Mirren boss Danny Lennon admits time is running out as he

attempts to retain out-of-contract playmaker Paul McGowan.

The midfielder scored what proved to be the decisive goal from

the penalty spot in their 3-1 victory at Kilmarnock after John

McGinn’s opener had been cancelled out by Kris Boyd.

On-loan Newcastle midfielder Conor Newton then scored the final

goal two minutes from time but talks have now stalled on a new deal

for McGowan to leave Lennon frustrated.

“It’s still in the balance. I haven’t had a conversation with

the boy for a number of weeks now,” said Lennon.

“I opened up talks with him about three months ago and he knows

where we stand. I know exactly what his intentions are but we can’t

wait for ever.”

Lennon is more upbeat about his chances of taking Newton and

team-mate Paul Dummett back on loan again next season, however.

“The two of them are good players and the boy Dummett just loves

defending,” added Lennon.

“He’s been a pleasure to have. Our club now has a reputation now

of bringing in players and improving them.

“Newcastle have got to welcome the boys back but we have a very

good relationship with them. If they are going to go back out

anywhere then I dare say we are in with a good shout.”

Lennon also handed debuts to youngsters AntonBrady, who was

fouled for the penalty award, as well as Mo Yaqub and Jack Smith

and he was delighted at their progress.

“It was fantastic that we managed to get another three young

boys on at the end and we had seven players under the age of 20

featuring too,” said Lennon.

“Credit too to the young lads Killie had out and that’s a great

advert for Scottish football there.

“We will have to carry a balance of young players next season

and these young kids, Jack, Anton – who did well to win the penalty

– and Mo have been exceptional at reserve level.

“A great deal of credit must also go to our head of youth David

Longwell and his assistant Frazer Robertson for these wee diamonds

they are bringing up to us and it’s now up to me to polish

them.”

Spurs’ trip to face Jamaica in the Bahamas is just one example

of the money-spinning post-season tours affecting England’s

build-up for their friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and

Brazil.

But Chelsea have already agreed to allow Frank Lampard, Ashley

Cole and Gary Cahill to return early from their tour of the United

States where they will play Manchester City twice next week.

“We are grateful for that,” Hodgson told Sky Sports. “It would

be nice if Man City do the same. I don’t know whether they can.

“It would also be nice if, for the game in the Bahamas, maybe

the couple of Tottenham players that are in the squad didn’t have

to play and had the chance to rest up.

“Of course, I don’t get to make those decisions. That will

depend on the club coaches. But they could certainly do us a favour

if they wanted to.”

Hodgson has already named his 22-man squad and while he hopes

all of his selections will report for duty he is comfortable in the

knowledge that there are others waiting to take their place.

“I know that the players I have selected are very keen to come,”

added the Three Lions boss. “I can only hope that they are able to

survive injury in these games.

“If not then I will have to turn to some others because I left

some quite good players out of this squad so I’m not short of

reserves.”

England face Ireland on May 29th at Wembley before travelling

out to Brazil for a showpiece friendly against next year’s World

Cup hosts in Rio de Janeiro.