Hodgson feels for England fans

25 June 2014 03:17

England coach Roy Hodgson understands fans' frustration after he brought his squad home on Wednesday from the worst World Cup campaign in the nation's history.

Hodgson, his 23-man squad and the England coaching staff touched down on home soil less than 24 hours after their World Cup ended with a 0-0 draw against Costa Rica.

England's chartered plane landed in Manchester on Wednesday afternoon before it dropped off the southern-based squad members in Luton.

Only a small collection of security staff were there to greet the players, who had been away from home for four-and-a-half weeks.

It was a low-key end to a disappointing summer that despite extensive and expensive preparation, yielded one miserly point against Costa Rica - a nation of four million inhabitants with a team who sit below Scotland in the FIFA rankings.

Before England left, Hodgson gave an interview to talkSPORT in which he admitted the team had not lived up to expectations.

"We feel very sorry for the fans who expected so much from us." the England manager said.

"We accept we have failed and we will do our best to put it right before 2016."

Hodgson received the backing of the Football Association within 24 hours of England's killer defeat to Uruguay last Thursday.

There is no overwhelming public clamour for Hodgson to be sacked, and the man himself is sure he is the right person to lead England through to the end of Euro 2016.

"The FA made it very clear after the second game that they wanted me to stay on and lead the team for the next two years," Hodgson added.

"The players and the staff want me to continue and I am very happy to continue."

Looking back on the tournament, Hodgson insisted his team were guilty of bad luck, rather than poor play.

Of particular annoyance to the England manager was the accidental flick-on by Steven Gerrard that played Luis Suarez in on goal for Uruguay's second in Sao Paulo.

When asked if he could change one thing about what happened in Brazil, Hodgson mused: "It would be changing the offside law so that when the ball skims off someone's head and goes to a player who is yards offside the goal doesn't stand because it's not what I consider to be a backpass.

"But I won't be changing any laws of the game.

"That is how small the margins are."

Hodgson rounded on the critics who say he should be sacked by highlighting the impressive attacking display against Italy.

Raheem Sterling, making just his third England start, had fans on the edge of their seats with a number of impressive runs while Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck also showed promise.

"If you take your mind back after the first game, I seem to remember the general consensus and opinion was that the team had done very well and that things were looking very bright," Hodgson said.

"So then we lose 2-1 to Uruguay to a freak goal after a period of domination and all of a sudden everything we have done as a team and a group in terms of preparation is wrong."

In fact, Hodgson believes the outlook for England is now much brighter thanks to the emergence of the likes of Sterling, Ross Barkley, Luke Shaw and Sturridge.

"We think we have made a lot of progress. The team is playing a different kind of football to what it was two years ago," said Hodgson, whose next match in charge is a friendly against Norway in September.

"We have seen a lot of good players coming through, the evolution has been very good so we think that the future is actually looking much brighter now than it was some months ago even and we have to hope and rely on the players to take us there."

Source: PA