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Hodgson proud of England

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 11 Jun 2012

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Roy Hodgson was proud of England’s performance in the 1-1 draw with France in their opening game of Euro 2012.

The former West Brom manager praised his team’s discipline and work rate as they battled to earn a point against a talented Les Bleus team.

The 64-year-old was happy with the end result, despite England taking the lead through a Joleon Lescott header midway through the first half, with Samir Nasri equalising for Laurent Blanc’s side, with a powerful low shot from outside the box.

“For me, it was a very good team performance. Everybody did their very best to keep us in the game. We defended properly and we attacked properly,” Hodgson told ITV.

“I think we played well, we played against a top team, they do ask questions of you, they’re very patient, they’ve got a lot of talented players, when they get the ball in your final third they don’t panic.

“You have to very disciplined in your defending, to get a 1-1 draw and ask the questions of them that we did, you have to be quite happy.”

The veteran manager went on to admit he was not too concerned about relinquishing a 1-0 lead so soon, when Nasri’s effort beat Joe Hart to put France level.

“I don’t know about frustration, the fact is they are a good team, taking the lead is one thing, it doesn’t mean your opponents are never going to get the chance to score a goal.

“We kept them very much at bay, there wasn’t that many situations in front of our goal where I was panicking in any way.

“We had quite a few situations in their part of the field where with a little bit more luck with the final ball we could have got a second goal.

“The final ball, decision making in the final third, sometimes we were a bit too anxious when we got there, or we crossed too early, we don’t get the right type of cross, or we try a one touch pass when we should have taken an extra touch, but it’s all a good sign of players wanting to do well.”

The England manager also had words of encouragement for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who made his competitive debut for the national side.

“I thought he did quite well, I thought he was quite dangerous. A couple of times he got brought down on a very good run, had that run been able to continue, who knows he might have been able to create something.”

Meanwhile, France manager Laurent Blanc said his team made life difficult for England at times but thinks a draw is not a bad result.

“We put them in difficulty,” he told TF1 after the game.

“We have scored this goal, it is a good thing. We could have put the second, even if opportunities were rare.

“But the draw is deserved and is not a bad result.”

France play Sweden on Friday before England tackle co-hosts Ukraine.

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