Date:Wednesday June 20 2012
More will be needed against Italy, we cannot sit back and soak up pressure as we did last night but beating Ukraine and getting through was the priority. Roy Hodgson reflects.
It was not pretty, often as a viewing fan on the box it was not pleasant either but what we can say is that it worked!
England, probably fortuitously, beat Ukraine 1-0 last night to not only book a place in the quarter finals of Euro 2012 but do this as group D winners with the French slipping to a defeat against Sweden...
On the qualification from the group itself Roy Hodgson, as he told Radio 5 live, admits that expectations have been exceeded: 'getting out of the group partly exceeded my expectations.
'For us to get seven points with two victories and a draw probably exceeds everyone's expectations.
'We're very pleased to have won the group. It wasn't an easy group to win. Ukraine have very good players, France were undefeated in 23 games, and then there's Sweden who ended that run. But we deserve it.'
A point was always going to be enough to get us through and as much as I hoped, dare I even say I expected, us to play in a way other than just looking for that point - which on the whole we did - it did work, even if we had some fortune on our side...
His gameplan of keeping 'our shape and discipline' paid off: 'it was always going to be a tough game.
'We kept getting updates from the Sweden game and we knew France were losing, plus the fans were all behind Ukraine. It took a great effort from us to keep our shape and discipline.
'We thank the supporters, both the brave 4,000 here plus the people back home. All the vibes have been extremely positive, having a good feel-good factor. That rubs off on the team.'
Quite clearly 'we got away with one' as the Ukrainians had a clear goal with the ball a mile over the line, quite how the 'extra official' did not see this is beyond me?
What is the point of these extra officials if they cannot see that a ball is over the line from 5-yards away looking directly along the line!
Although to be fair we deserved that bit of fortune really: 'we don't have goal-line technology, and even with slow-motion we can't be 100% certain. I'm led to believe the ball crossed the line, and that was a slice of luck.
'But England have suffered in the past, and if there was a slice of luck, we got it.'
Winning the group means that we avoid Spain and instead will face the Italians on Sunday night.
Hodgson would not have minded the Spanish but concedes avoiding them is not exactly a bad thing: 'I'd have been quite happy to play the Spanish, but I'd rather miss them because they are the favourites alongside Germany.
'I think this team of ours would have given Spain a pretty good run for their money.
'The good thing is that we're there and we're not travelling home. There was not one person in our group who wanted to be on that plane tomorrow.'
Without a shadow of a doubt we will have to play better against Italy, we cannot sit back and invite pressure into ourselves against them as they will take chances that Ukraine did not, or could not.
A little more adventure in the attacking sense is also a must!
I know I was hopeful that we would not just sit back against Ukraine I guess it is hard not to have such a mentality for a game that you can 'afford' to do so in but I really do think, whilst it will not be an all out assault on the Italians attacking wise, as it is a knockout game now and there is no advantage of 'sitting back' exclusively we will play with a little more attacking intent.
Hodgson will always set up a side to be well shaped and disciplined but I also feel that if we utilise the wide men more effectively on Sunday we can cause problems...
Vital England on:
Vital England on:
Date:Wednesday June 20 2012
Is It Really Asking Too Much!? (Sunday June 16 2013)
Has Walcott Finally Arrived? (Sunday June 16 2013)
30% Just Isn't Enough! (Saturday June 15 2013)
Is That It For Stuart Pearce? (Thursday June 13 2013)
Is Hoddle the saviour or England? (Wednesday June 12 2013)
Pearce Lets Rip (Wednesday June 12 2013)
U21's: Israel vs England. (Tuesday June 11 2013)
U-21s: England vs Norway. (Friday June 7 2013)
U-21's England vs Italy. (Wednesday June 5 2013)
Hodgson: Well Worthy Of The Draw (Monday June 3 2013)
|8.||Morph the Bull||12|
|Is It Really Asking Too Much!?
» England : 16/06/2013 17:51:00
|Has Walcott Finally Arrived?
» England : 16/06/2013 17:23:00
|30% Just Isn't Enough!
» England : 15/06/2013 19:42:00
|Is That It For Stuart Pearce?
» England : 13/06/2013 09:16:00
|Is Hoddle the saviour or England?
» England : 12/06/2013 16:36:00
|Pearce Lets Rip
» England : 12/06/2013 12:25:00
|U21's: Israel vs England.
» England : 11/06/2013 09:46:00