Hodgson calls for patience
England manager Roy Hodgson has pleaded for patience as the Three Lions take the first tentative steps towards being the team he expects them to be.
Although the reaction to Monday's draw with France was largely positive, a vast discrepancy in possession was noted and, against a significantly inferior Sweden outfit in Kiev on Friday, far more is expected.
But Hodgson hopes the realisation he is only three weeks and four games into his new role helps temper the demand for excellence, and he said: "One would hope people will be patient. I am satisfied with what I think we are achieving only three weeks into the job."
He added: "Maybe I can't satisfy everyone and other people would like to see more.
"I am realistic and pragmatic. Five, six or seven training sessions into the job we are making a fist of it.
"I am sure we will get better. Just a simple thing like the return of Wayne Rooney will make us into a stronger team and a bigger threat."
Rooney is missing on Friday, completing the final game of his two-match suspension.
It robs England of their talisman as they prepare to face a Sweden side whose hopes appear to rely on their own star man, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
And despite the often sceptical view taken towards the AC Milan man in England, Hodgson is more than aware of the threat he can pose.
"I have seen quite a lot of him over the years - first of all in 2000 the year after Malmo had been relegated for the only time in their history," said Hodgson. "Twelve years ago, as a fairly young precocious talent, he made sure they got straight back up again I thought he was going to be something special then and of course everything he has done since then has proved it."
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