England boss Roy Hodgson insists he did not hear the monkey chants that have landed the Russian Football Union (RFU) with a UEFA charge.
European football’s governing body on Sunday confirmed disciplinary proceedings had been brought against the RFU for crowd disturbances, racist behaviour and the setting off of fireworks.
While the fireworks and post-full-time violence that saw Russian fans charge their English counterparts were apparent to all inside the Stade Velodrome, the chants were not obviously audible and Hodgson was unaware of what had taken place.
“No, it wasn’t mentioned and no we weren’t aware,” he said.
“I’m afraid sometimes on the bench one gets very, very one eyed, one doesn’t even sometimes see the stands or the people in the stands because the focus is so unbelievably intense.
“As a result it takes a little bit longer to come over.”
The off-field problems were central to England’s trip to Marseille being nothing short of calamitous.
Three days of trouble involving England fans has led to UEFA threatening to expel the Three Lions from the tournament while Vasili Berezutski’s injury-time equaliser denied them a deserved win on the pitch after Eric Dier’s wonderful free-kick had put them ahead.
Despite all of that, Hodgson rightly pointed out the positives in an encouraging performance that only lacked the killer touch in the final third.
“We’ll get over it, no question of that, we’ll bounce back,” he added.
“My hope, and my dream, is that we’ll play as well in the next two matches and go on to do well in the tournament.”
England’s next game is against Wales in Lens on Thursday.
“That will be a different type of match to prepare for,” said Hodgson.
“We’ve always been ready for that because our preparation has not been 100% focused on that first game, we’ve also done our homework on Wales and Slovakia.”
Captain Wayne Rooney is likely to remain in a deeper midfield role after impressing against the Russians.
“I think it would have been harder if Wayne hadn’t been playing that position for Manchester United,” said Hodgson on Rooney’s switch.
“That’s what made it a solution for us or something we thought we would like to do.
“We definitely wanted Wayne in the team for this game and definitely wanted him to captain the team in the opening game for a number of reasons.
“We also really wanted to see [Raheem] Sterling and [Adam] Lallana in the wider positions because we felt that would cause Russia some problems and I thought they did.
“When we selected our squad and chose deliberately to take seven defenders with extra midfielders and attackers it was because we wanted options in the front positions to play 4-4-2, the diamond, and 4-3-3.
“It doesn’t take lot of changing if we go from one to the other, the principles we work on remain the same and players work on both in training sessions.”
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