Hodgson impressed by Welbeck cool

03 June 2012 07:17

Manager Roy Hodgson saluted the coolness of Danny Welbeck after the Manchester United striker scored the goal which sent England off to Euro 2012 on a note of optimism.

Welbeck's first-half strike gave England a 1-0 win against Belgium at Wembley to go with their 1-0 victory against Norway in Oslo last weekend. They now leave for Poland and Ukraine where they face France in Donetsk a week on Monday with Hodgson admitting he is much closer to knowing his best team.

Hodgson said: "It was a very good goal. I was delighted with the way he (Welbeck) took it and delighted with the way they (Welbeck and Ashley Young) fashioned it. It was a good piece of work from the two front players."

He added: "They worked well together to pressurise the Belgium defence. When Ashley played him in I thought he showed remarkable calmness to keep his head on his left foot and chip it over the goalkeeper. That for me was the highlight of the game."

Hodgson also praised the contribution of Arsenal's 18-year-old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who made his first start.

"He did quite well," said Hodgson. "He did some very good things. But we will have to keep working on him in respect of what we expect from him in his position out there when we have the ball. He's played quite a lot of his football in the middle of midfield and playing wide was something a bit different for him."

Hodgson, however, admitted he was close to knowing his preferred formation.

He added: "My ideas on the starting 11 get clearer every day and training sessions help, but nothing like games. That game has cleared up a few things in my mind and I am a lot closer now to knowing how I would like to start the game (against France) but I am going to keep that to myself."

Meanwhile, Belgium manager Marc Wilmots said: "We were very satisfied with the game. We deserved a draw. Unfortunately, we made a mistake when we gave away the goal. We controlled the game in the first half hour."

When asked about Englamd's chances at Euro 2012, Wilmots added: "It is a difficult tournament. England have good individuals but they have to survive the first three games and get to the quarter finals and after that anything can happen."

Source: PA