England boss Roy Hodgson congratulated his players for coming from behind to beat Scotland
England 3-2 Scotland
Teenage Cancer Trust International
8pm, Wednesday 14 August 2013
England Manager Roy Hodgson praised his players for the way they came from 2-1 down to beat Scotland in an entertaining game at Wembley on Wednesday.
Goals from James Morrison and Kenny Miller either side of a Theo Walcott strike threatened to give the visitors a famous victory under the arch.
But Three Lions debutant Rickie Lambert leapt from the bench to head home what Hodgson called a ‘fairytale’ winner.
"Without playing our best, certainly defensively, it was a very positive performance," said Hodgson. "It's very satisfying to win a game like that, when you come from behind twice.
“We did work hard to get close to the ball, we took plenty of risks on the ball, we got players forward, we created more opportunities in dangerous situations than maybe we have done in the past so that’s very positive.
“Maybe the most positive thing was to come from behind because, when you have to chase games, when you have to take all the responsibility for making the game, trying things, the opponents just have to stop you.
“There’s always going to be a risk that you might get caught on the counter-attack and they might score a goal, like Miller’s goal that put them 2-1 up.”
Hodgson continued: “I thought both teams played in the right spirit, albeit a very competitive spirit and that’s how it should be. Eighty thousand people didn’t turn up here to see an exhibition game, they turned up to see a very competitive match and I think that’s what they got.”
The 66-year-old singled out match-winner Lambert following his impressive debut – and admitted the Southampton striker will be in his thoughts when it comes to selecting the squad for next month’s World Cup qualifying double-header against Moldova and Ukraine.
With 15 goals, Lambert was the top-scoring Englishman in the Premier League last season. He took just three minutes to translate that form onto the international stage, heading home Leighton Baines’s corner shortly after replacing Wayne Rooney."
Hodgson added: "It's satisfying that it was won by a fairytale goal from Rickie Lambert.
"He's been a breath of fresh air while with us, so happy to be part of the squad. What a wonderful story that he crowned it with the winning goal.
"He could have gone away with the match ball, with his shot against the post and another that had to be palmed away. But maybe he has to be happy with one goal and he'll save a few others for a later date.
"Obviously there will be more competition next time. Danny Sturridge will hopefully be back, Andy Carroll is not so far away, so we'll see what happens in the next three weeks.
“It's now up to him for the next three weeks to go out for Southampton and continue to do what he did last year; playing well and more importantly, putting the ball in the back of the net because that’s what we know Rickie Lambert can do.”
And the England boss also hailed Jack Wilshere after the Arsenal midfielder’s first-half display.
Hodgson admitted: "He's very important to us. No question. He has that ability to unlock doors with his incredible footwork and that fantastic change of pace.
"For a young man he has a very good understanding of the game."
Next up for England is their World Cup Qualifier against Moldova at Wembley on 6 September. They also have two matches coming up at home in October against group rivals Montenegro and Poland. For ticket details visit www.TheFA.com/Tickets