Sam Allardyce described the “absolutely outstanding” feeling of kicking off his England reign with a last-gasp 1-0 World Cup qualifying win over 10-man Slovakia on Sunday.
Adam Lallana scored his first international goal after the intended four minutes of added time had elapsed in Trnava, where the hosts had earlier seen Martin Skrtel sent off following a stamp on Harry Kane.
England had a Theo Walcott effort disallowed for offside prior to clinching maximum points, and Allardyce felt his side more than deserved to come away with the win.
“A 10-man scenario means you must win,” he told ITV. “It’s difficult to break them down. They’re going to try that bit harder, defend that bit longer.
“But finally we got what we deserved and, in the end, it was in the last minute and perhaps their goalkeeper shouldn’t have stayed down injured so long. It might have been a different story.
“I think Theo Walcott’s was definitely a goal because it looked like it came off their defender. So it looked like it wasn’t going to be our night.
“We hit the post, we had 20 attempts at goal, they had seven and not many on target. We have dominated the game and in the end got a very important win.”
Captain Wayne Rooney played a deeper than many had expected with Kane left to lead the line alone for the most part.
Asked what position Rooney was playing, Allardyce added: “Today, wherever he wanted to be. He was brilliant.
“He controlled the game and controlled midfield, as well as Eric Dier.
“Yes, sometimes he played a little deep, but I can’t stop Wayne if he thinks that’s the right position to play, to go a little deep.
“Our team is a team. If it wins, it wins, if it loses, we get criticised. We aren’t going to make a big deal of it, are we?”