Roy Hodgson delighted with Cleverley's England performance

Cleverley talks to England Roy Hodgson
Cleverley put on an impressive display in England's 5-0 win Photo: PA

Roy Hodgson praised the performance of Tom Cleverley in England's 5-0 rout of Moldova last night - but warned he will have to work hard to oust his old guard.

The Manchester United midfielder made a significant contribution to England's biggest away win since 1993, the perfect way to start a World Cup qualification campaign.

"I was really pleased with Tom and Alex (Oxlade-Chamberlain)," Hodgson said. "Tom stepped into that position and looks at home there.

"It's easy to see why Sir Alex Ferguson picks him so often in the United team.

"It's nice to see these young players taking their chances and showing they merit a place in the squad.

Cleverley celebrates Frank Lampard's goal
Cleverley celebrates Frank Lampard's goal Credit: PA
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Just landed back in england. Good win for the lads. Heads on tuesday now!

England starting team against Moldova
Cleverley was one of 7 players from the North West to start in England's win Credit: PA

"But the old guard is making certain they don't get too much of a look-in."

On this occasion Hodgson meant Lampard, who has now scored 25 goals for his country - one more than Sir Geoff Hurst.

"Frank was excellent," Hodgson said. "Quality is permanent, and that's proved itself time and time again.

"He might not always play to the top of his game, because football is football, but you're better off going into games having that quality on the field."

Jermaine Defoe added another before half-time, with Manchester City's James Milner and Everton's Leighton Baines increasing England's advantage over a poor Moldova outfit before the end.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was taken off at half time through injury. Hodgson later confirmed this was a precautionary measure.