England boss Roy Hodgson was happy to see Andros Townsend repay his faith at Wembley
Roy Hodgson was delighted his “agonising” decision paid off after England brushed aside Montenegro 4-1 at Wembley
to keep alive their hopes of automatic qualification for next summer’s World Cup finals.
The Three Lions boss opted to hand Andros Townsend his international debut and it was justified as the Tottenham winger produced an exciting performance which culminated in a spectacular second half strike.
Strikers Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge grabbed a goal each, while Montenegro’s Branko Boskovic diverted the ball past his own goalkeeper, to ensure a comfortable win for England and maintain their position at the top of Group H ahead of the final qualifier against Poland on Tuesday.
Hodgson admitted he had some difficult selection decisions to make prior to the match – but feels he ultimately got it right.
He said: “We agonised over it. We had plenty of discussions and argued back and forth because we had so many players to choose. To leave Jack Wilshere and James Milner out wasn’t an easy decision.
“We’re glad it worked out well for us. I think man of the match Andros Townsend must be delighted with his evening’s work. Sometimes you’re lucky with these things.”
Hodgson also denied suggestions his players felt extra pressure following a goalless first half having learned that rivals Ukraine were leading against Poland.
He added: “I don’t think [it added pressure]. I think in the first half we were dominant. It wasn’t easy to find way a past a well-drilled and organised Montenegro team. Luckily the chances came and we scored.
“The 2-1 was a bit of a cold shower for us, because we had chances to go 3-0 up. But luckily Andros Townsend stepped up and got the third.”