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WORLD CUP: Ex-England and Ipswich Town skipper backs Roy Hodgson’s squad selection but worries about defensive inexperience

Mick Mills celebrates Dave Watson's goal for England against Northern Ireland

Mick Mills celebrates Dave Watson's goal for England against Northern Ireland

Former England World Cup skipper Mick Mills believes inexperience in the Three Lions’ rearguard could be their downfall in Brazil.

Roy Hodgson’s men travel to South America for Group D games against 2006 winners Italy, Luis Suarez’s Uruguay and outsiders Costa Rica.

England’s first-choice back four is likely to include Everton’s Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines and Chelsea’s Gary Cahill who have yet to play a competitive game at a major tournament, along with seasoned tournament performer Glen Johnson.

Mills, who won 42 caps for England and captained his country at the 1982 World Cup, as well as skippering Ipswich Town to FA Cup and UEFA Cup success said: “I like Roy Hodgson’s squad, although I am not sure I would have left Ashley Cole at home.

“It’s nicely balanced, with a few new faces, but the area that concerns me is the back four. We had such a good group of players that kept their positions in the England defence for a long, long time, the likes of John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville and Cole.

“They won a huge amount of caps and made the positions their own.

“What we have now in Cahill, Baines and Jagielka are players at the perfect age but without any tournament experience.

“It looks very inexperienced as far as the World Cup is concerned, particularly in South America, which I think will be tougher than playing in Europe.”

Progression through the group stages would see England face Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast or Japan in the last 16, with the hosts, Holland and Spain likely opponents in the last eight.

“We have not got an easy group, and I think all the games could go either way,” Mills added.

“If we were to emerge through the groups and reach the quarter-finals, that would be amazing.”

Ipswich Town fans have shown their disgust for a billboard in the town showing off Norwich City’s new home kit - by attempting to tear it down.

Ipswich Town’s pre-season preparations continue tomorrow with a friendly match at League One side Gillingham.

Nottingham Forest have reportedly had a £2m bid for striker Daryl Murphy accepted by Newcastle United.

Ipswich Town take on Gillingham in their fourth pre-season friendly of the summer tomorrow. Here’s all you need to know ahead of the game at Priestfield.

Ex-Ipswich Town boss George Burley believes Mick McCarthy faces a simple decision regarding homegrown talent this season – either give them a fair chance to develop or send them out on loan.

Impressive young midfielder Flynn Downes has signed a new three-year deal at Portman Road.

Ipswich Town striker target John Marquis has signed a new deal with Doncaster Rovers.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says he is happy to go into the new season with a reduced squad size.

Ipswich Town continued their unbeaten pre-season last night with a 3-1 win at Peterborough United, in which a couple of new signings saw their first action in a Town shirt.

Ipswich Town recorded a 3-1 win at League One side Peterborough United last night. STUART WATSON reports on 120-minutes of pre-season action at London Road.

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