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Henderson defends England´s performance

SoccerNews in European Championships 13 Jun 2012

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Jordan Henderson has denied England were too defensive after settling for a 1-1 draw against France in their opening game at Euro 2012.

Liverpool midfielder Henderson, who made his fourth international appearance as a substitute during the Group D opener in Donetsk on Monday, believes England created opportunities in attack but failed to capitalise on their chances.

The 21-year-old also threw his support behind first-choice midfielders Scott Parker and Steven Gerrard, who remain fitness concerns ahead of the next match against Sweden on Friday, saying both will be fit to play the full game.

“I was delighted to get on but I think Steve (Gerrard) and Scotty (Parker) have done very well in there,” he said.

“I think they’re both fit enough to last the full game. I was delighted to get on the last 15 minutes, it was a great experience.

“Obviously France did have a lot of the possession and a lot more shots but I think if you go back and look at the chances, I think we created a lot more … chances that maybe we could have taken a bit better, but I think we had the better chances.”

England striker Danny Welbeck said he was excited to be involved in his first major international tournament after starting the game against France.

He hopes Roy Hodgson’s men can build on their solid start with a victory against Sweden at Kiev’s Olympic Stadium.

“I was really excited to be involved in a major competition for England, and obviously to make the start I was really honoured,” he said.

“We’ve set the platform, and now we want to build on that, and I think we can improve a lot more.

“I was quite isolated at times, but I think at that level of football you’re not going to get so much possession of the ball that you’re use to.

“You need to take it in your stride and once you do get the ball, try and hold it up and bring others into play.”

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