England blow after Jay Rodriguez's World Cup hopes hit by knee injury

• Southampton striker injured during defeat at Manchester City
• 'The players are upset, they can see how severe the injury is'

Roy Hodgson saw his first World Cup injury setback when Southampton's Jay Rodriguez departed on a stretcher with what looked like serious knee ligament damage at Manchester City.

"We do not know the extent of the problem yet because we have not completed an assessment, but it is not looking good," Mauricio Pochettino said. "All the players are really upset, they can see how severe the injury is."

Capped only once by Hodgson, but making a strong claim for a place in the England World Cup squad along with his team-mates Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Luke Shaw, Rodriguez collapsed in pain midway through the first half when he landed awkwardly after leaping to control a high ball near the halfway line. With no opponent in immediate proximity his left ankle appeared to give way on landing which meant he fell on his right leg, and stayed down clutching his knee.

It hardly improved Southampton's afternoon when City took advantage of the four extra minutes added to the first half for the treatment the 24-year-old former Burnley player received on the pitch to score two goals and make the game safe, particularly as the first of them involved a blatant offside that Chris Foy and his officials failed to spot.

"We were the victims of two dumb refereeing decisions," Pochettino said, through his Spanish interpreter. "The penalty after two minutes and the failure to spot the offside for the second goal killed the game." Southampton did extremely well to haul themselves back into the game and level the scores after needlessly presenting City with the gift of an early penalty, though when Rodriguez's injury was followed by an unfortunate refereeing error they were unable to summon the same conviction in the second half.

"For 45 minutes we were superior to a team that could go on to win the Premier League," Pochettino said, "but we were unlucky with the injury and the bad refereeing calls. Both those factors affected the players."

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