Roy Hodgson calls on England stars to show worth in final weeks of season

30 March 2016 11:23

Roy Hodgson has challenged England's players to excite in the weeks leading up to the Euro 2016 squad announcement.

The England boss will name the players he is taking to France this summer on May 12.

Injury and form mean Hodgson faces a number of selection headaches, although he said the friendlies against Germany and Holland have helped.

Tuesday's underwhelming 2-1 home defeat to the Dutch was not how he hoped the final match before the squad announcement would pan out and he has called on his players to now shine like they did in the 3-2 comeback win in Berlin.

"The question now is, (can) these players (be) taking their game forwards or continue at least with the quality of their game between now and the end of the season?" Hodgson said.

"There's seven or eight games for these players to play and I, Ray Lewington and Gary (Neville) will be watching them very, very closely, alongside our other scouting staff of course.

"I am hoping their performances and their games will continue to excite me and give me hope for the Euros in France."

The next six weeks promises to be an interesting period as players' focus returns to club matters.

Friendlies with Turkey, Australia and Portugal then await those selected, as do sessions analysing Tuesday's 2-1 loss to a team that failed to even make Euro 2016.

Jamie Vardy all but secured his place in the squad with his second goal in as many internationals, but Vincent Janssen's penalty and a late Luciano Narsingh strike secured Holland victory at Wembley.

Hodgson was frustrated by the goals that saw England fall to just their second defeat since the World Cup, so too the level of performance from his much-changed side.

"We're very disappointed," he said. "The crowd of 82,000 was fantastic.

"We wanted to send them away happy with a victory and we weren't able to do so. It is definitely a case of highs and lows.

"I don't think we reached the level of intensity that we did on Saturday, I don't think we were as creative as we were.

"There can be lots of reasons for that. I thought we had very much control over the game, I don't know what the possession stats were, but we seemed to always be on the ball.

"We didn't seem, quite honestly, very often in danger defensively, but we would have needed to create a lot more goal chances and reproduce, if you like, that buzz that we seemed able to produce on Saturday night against Germany.

"That was missing and of course at the end the two decisions which result in the goals were harsh ones in my opinion.

"They could certainly have gone our way and we might have been talking about a 1-0 victory, but I still wouldn't have been satisfied because the performance wasn't at the level we were hoping for."

England were unable to find their rhythm against a Dutch side happy to defend deep and keep players behind the ball.

It is a challenge the Three Lions will no doubt face in France, but Hodgson was quick to point out this is nothing new, highlighting the qualifying campaign they managed to navigate with a 100 per cent record.

"We've had it for 10 qualifying games, so we're pretty used to it, to be perfectly honest," he said.

"All the teams we played here, the Estonias, the Lithuanias, the Swiss, the Slovenians - virtually every team we've played here has done that to us.

"We are aware of that and we knew that was coming and we were prepared for it.

"At 1-0, I was rather hoping we would kick on in the second half and get the second goal, but that early penalty of course evened things up.

"Then the bitter disappointment of the second Dutch goal, which cost us the game from a situation where I was convinced we'd been given a free-kick."

Source: PA


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