Hodgson - Defeat Was Hard To Take
England manager Roy Hodgson has said that defeat to Italy in the opening game of our World Cup Group D campaign, was very 'tough to take' given our overall performance.
Effectively two defensive mistakes owing to players not tracking properly, undid all of the hard work that we had put in when it came to keeping Italy quiet, and then causing them huge amounts of trouble at the other end of the pitch, but as ever in football, when you don't take your chances you will pay for it, and we did.
Speaking to the theFA.com following the full time whistle, a disappointed gaffer said.
'It's a bit tough to accept that we lost the game, especially considering there were so few shots on our goal in the second half. Joe Hart had a pretty quiet evening really and yet we find ourselves having lost. We know we played against a good team and to take them so close gives us great confidence that we can do well against Uruguay and Costa Rica and still progress in the tournament.'
There were tons of positives from the game, but unfortunately as the dust settles on a defeat, they don't provide much consolation. The performances and liveliness of the youngsters selected more than contributed to what was a very good showing from the side, and a showing that tried to play the game properly, and excite.
'It's always difficult when you lose a game to take the positives. Even when it was 2-1, I thought we'd get back into it and go on to win it because it was quite a dominant second half performance. The only positive I can take is that it was undoubtedly the best I've seen the team play during my time with them.'
Of course, a point was the least we deserved given the chances we created, and the clearest of those fell to Wayne Rooney who somehow conspired to send the keeper the wrong way, take the defender out of the equasion, and then put the ball wide when it was harder to miss.
Had the gone in, we should've been looking at a point from the opener, and had that gone in, maybe Roy would've got his wish and seen us go on to win given how we were playing.
There are obvious negatives, but if we go at the next two opponents like we did Italy, we have every chance of picking up two wins, but we have to organise the left hand side and give Baines the coverage that neither Rooney nor Welbeck could.
'Our final ball was a bit disappointing - we're better than that. There were several situations where we were in good crossing or shooting positions and we didn't take advantage of that and that's something we need to work on. But we are a young team and this is the first World Cup for almost two thirds of the team so I think this is something we will improve on going forward.'
And as for qualification.
'Of course we can still quality. We're a bit downhearted at the moment, a bit sad that the game didn't go our way - we were hoping for a perfect start but we don't live in a perfect world.'
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