Roy Hodgson will be expecting a vast improvement from England against Slovenia next Sunday after they were held to a tedious goalless draw with Republic of Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.
England headed to Dublin for a friendly on the back of a nine-match unbeaten run since the World Cup last year – and seven wins in their last eight games.
They were unable to mark their first away game against Ireland for 20 years with a win, though, as both sides lacked the quality to break the deadlock.
The last time the two nations met in Dublin the game was abandoned due to crowd trouble, but on this occasion there were no unsavoury scenes and a distinct lack of action on the field.
England travel to Ljubljana to face second-placed Slovenia in Euro 2016 qualifying Group E next weekend and Hodgson knows his side will have to raise their game in order to maintain their 100 per cent record.
“For some of our players it’s been a while now since they had a game,” the England manager told ITV.
“I think we needed this game and we needed this level of competition as well because certainly going into the game against Slovenia there’s a lot of things we want to improve upon from today’s performance.
“Having said that it’s never easy in Ireland – we don’t have a great record here. We were hoping to put an end to that today but we weren’t able to do so.
“But at least we go away with a clean sheet and that of course is positive.”
Southampton defender Ryan Bertrand made his first senior international start for England, while there was a debut for Jamie Vardy when the Leicester City striker came on as a late substitute.
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