Despite Euro disappointment, Roy Hodgson still has hope for the future.
Roy Hodgson has nothing but praise for the way his England players have given everything to reach the last eight of Euro 2012 and feels the future is bright for the national side.
England suffered the heartache of losing on a penalty shoot-out once again when they were beaten by Italy in Kiev on Sunday night. but Hodgson feels the players should take a lot of pride from the fact they managed to reach the quarter finals.
He said: "We have done well to come through the tournament without losing a game in normal time. It is always sad to lose on penalties and it is a bit of a lottery. Maybe we thought it would be our day but it was not to be.
"I think you learn so much about the team and about the way you work with them over a period of time. You get to know them as players and people.
"It is important you have experienced players. I have been delighted, especially with Stevie (Gerrard) and John (Terry). They have been a big help to me and the younger players.
"A guy like Wayne Rooney, who could not play in the first two games, spent a lot of time talking to the younger players.
"It has been invaluable for me over the last five weeks and they have behaved impeccably. I don't think we let people down - apart from the penalties.
"I still think we have got enough good English players and we need to bridge any gap that might exist with the tournament favourites such as Spain and Germany.
"You saw with the German team in 2006. They went in highly unfancied with a new coach and some players we didn't know too much about. They have kicked-on since then.
"We have to take heart from that. I would like to think there is good reason for optimism.
"There are some good young players coming through, our Under-21s are doing well and it will be interesting to see how we do in the Olympics. We have to be optimistic and believe. We must qualify for Brazil and then better our previous record."