England manager Roy Hodgson has not ruled out another tactical switch against Wales on Thursday after Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Russia.
Eric Dier’s clinical 73rd-minute free-kick looked to have given England their first ever victory in the opening match of a European Championship, only for Vasili Berezutsky to head home an injury-time equaliser in Marseille.
That was probably harsh on Hodgson’s side, who dictated terms in the first half in Marseille and appeared largely in control of the situation after Dier struck.
Victory would have vindicated the manager’s decision to revert to 4-3-3, recalling Adam Lallana and Raheem Sterling and deploying Wayne Rooney in midfield for the first time in his long international career.
Hodgson saw plenty of positives prior to Berezutsky’s hammer blow at the Stade Velodrome but stressed the system and personnel were under constant review ahead of Thursday’s key game against Wales.
Leicester’s title-winning striker Jamie Vardy was an unused substitute in the game, and will surely occupy his manager’s thoughts in the coming days, with his possible inclusion meaning England could start with two men up front and a diamond formation behind him in midfield.
Speaking about the possibility of changing formation, Hodgson said: “We think about it all the time.
“The team depends upon how you see individuals you are working with, and how you build a team to make best use of their qualities.
“We thought, going into this game, we’d been pleased with Raheem and Adam, and with Harry Kane, so we thought that would be our best attacking option.
“We could change it for the next games.
“When we analyse the game, and start preparing for the next game, there’ll be a lot of things that we’ll want to take forward and hopefully we’ll be able to put the memory of that last minute goal behind us.
“It won’t take us long to get over it.”
Hodgson admitted trying to replicate a previous iteration of the formation, used during the team’s 100 per cent winning run in qualification.
“Lallana and Sterling and Kane…that’s a direct replica of Sterling, (Danny) Welbeck and Rooney which we were using for long periods ahead of these finals,” he said.
“We’ve been playing this system (and) if you take the successful period, we’ve had with two defeats in over 20 games.”
Kane had a quiet game at centre-forward, making no touches at all in the Russia box.
He did, though, continue his recent role as primary corner taker.
That has raised eyebrows in the build-up to Euro 2016, as it removes the Premier League’s golden boot winner from the danger area at key times.
And one of Kane’s most illustrious predecessors in the number nine shirt, Alan Shearer, believes that must change now.
“Let’s get straight to the point, what on earth is Harry Kane doing taking corners? It is bizarre,” he told BBC One.
“He is well within his rights to say to the manager ‘find someone else’. He’s one of the best goalscorers and one of the best headers of a ball.
“Get someone else to take corners, not him, because he’s a top centre forward.”