Hodgson heartened by England despite ‘bitter pill to swallow’

Date published: Saturday 11th June 2016 11:09

Roy Hodgson will take heart from England’s impressive display despite being denied by “a moment of unbelievable quality” from Russia.

Hodgson’s young side dominated for long periods at the Stade Velodrome, and looked set to be on the way towards three points when Tottenham midfielder Dier crashed a free-kick into the top corner after 73 minutes.

However, with just seconds of three minutes of added time remaining, Russian skipper Vasili Berezutsky sent a looping header over Joe Hart.

England must now regroup ahead of their showdown in Lens with Wales, who earlier in the day had beaten Slovakia.

While Hodgson accepted to concede a goal at such a late stage almost felt like a defeat, there was no reason to tear up the blueprint for what was largely a promising display.

England v Russsia 2

The England manager said on ITV1: “When you have dominated the game as much as we did and then concede a goal two minutes into injury time, of course it feels much more like a defeat.

“There are a lot of good things in our performance tonight.

“Unfortunately for us it was a very good goal they scored to equalise and we have to accept that disappointment and move on.

“It was a moment of unbelievable quality from their side, and I don’t think that came from any signs of us showing mismanagement personally.”

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Hodgson recalled Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana, while captain Wayne Rooney was deployed in a deeper midfield role.

“There were a lot of things which happened out there that gave me satisfaction,” the England manager continued.

“I thought the first-half performance in particular was very good, but we didn’t start well enough in the second

“We were getting pegged back by so many long balls although dealing with them well, but we came to terms with that and then afterwards were totally in control of the game again.

“I was satisfied with it.

“I thought we looked very good at times during the game, and personally I thought we deserved to win the game.

“It was a bitter pill to swallow, the equalising goal, but if we can swallow that pill and take encouragement from many of the good things we did out there, both offensively and defensively, then I shall be very hopeful going forward that this misfortune which happened tonight will not happen again.”

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