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Hodgson: England will only get better

SoccerNews in European Championships 12 Jun 2012

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Roy Hodgson says his England outfit will only get better after beginning their Euro 2012 campaign by holding France to a 1-1 draw.

A resurgent defensive performance was rewarded with a useful point for England, who opened the scoring through Joleon Lescott’s header only for his Manchester City team-mate Samir Nasri to cancel out their lead.

But the England manager was more than happy with his sides’ performance in their opening game in Group D and believes his squad will only improve with time.

“You don’t become a really good team in three matches and 10 training sessions,” he told reporters.

“The French have gone 22 games unbeaten and that’s not done overnight.

“It’s been people playing together, getting to know each other’s games. The longer we play together, the better we’ll become too.

“I’m pleased the (France) game’s out of the way. I’m pleased the players have shown they can cope well at this level.

“I’m looking forward to the next game. This gives us a good platform. We’ll get fitter as well — match fitter. There are no injury concerns.

“But it was tough in those last 15 or 20 minutes. The French were also feeling the effects of the heat.”

England returned to their training base in Krakow, Poland, but will fly back to Ukraine on Thursday for the crucial second game against Sweden in Kiev.

Hodgson’s men will be looking to inflict a second defeat on the Swedes, who suffered a 2-1 loss at the hands of the tournament co-hosts Ukraine following Andriy Shevchenko’s brace.

The 64-year-old continued: “I’ve had three games. Am I satisfied with those three games, and have the players done what’s asked of them? Then yes.

“But we’ve got Sweden now. Who knows? Let’s wait and see.”

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