Roy relishing French test
by Wally Downes
Sunday, 10 June, 2012
Roy Hodgson's final thoughts ahead of Euro 2012 opener against France.
England Manager Roy Hodgson hopes the exciting first three weeks he has enjoyed in the prestigious job is capped off with a win against France on Monday.
Since his appointment, the Three Lions have won two games and have not conceded a goal and that has brought a deserved air of confidence into the camp ahead of the clash with France.
“It’s a massive occasion, it has been an exciting three weeks with the team and it has been very enjoyable,” said Hodgson.
“I think the players worked very hard and we’re all very excited that the tournament begins for us now and it’s a personally very proud moment for me to watch the England team that I am now responsible for.
“Is always nice to hear that your players are confident and they are going out with the intention to win the game. In a tournament like this that is the attitude we will need.
“It’s been an intensive three weeks but I feel I have been quickly accepted and I feel comfortable in my position which is somewhat unusual because often when you start a new job you need more time, but the players made it easy for me to get my feet under the table.
“We have full respect for the French team, as I feel we should have but I also get the feeling that the players are more than confident in their own ability, so let’s see what we can do.
“I don’t think anyone expects after three weeks that I have totally stamped my mark on the team but I have worked with some of these players before. It is the team that I selected and the team that I am coaching and it is the team I am taking responsibility for."
The new England boss was full of praise for all the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes, that he believes will give his side the perfect platform to prove themselves on the pitch.
“I can’t believe the quality of the preparation and administration here, it seems that everything is spot on so it has been no hardship to take a short plane here. We have moved from one nice hotel to another and now we prepare for the game in our usual style," he said.
“I just hope they play like they are capable of playing. We have a team of players that are major stars in the Premier League, which is widely regarded as a top league and I see them play to the best of their ability every week. I hope they can replicate that form as a team when we get on the field for France and the matches that follow.”
England's meeting with France in Donetsk at 5pm (BST) on Monday 11 June will be live on ITV1.