Hodgson pleased with players
Wednesday, 12 September, 2012
Roy was happy with how his team kept to their task against Ukraine.
Roy Hodgson was happy with England’s performance against Ukraine and how the players responded after going a goal down.
Oleh Blokhin’s side were quick out of the blocks at Wembley and after Jermain Defoe had a goal disallowed, the visitors took the lead through a stunning Yevhen Konoplianka strike.
With England heading for their first competitive home defeat for five years, the Three Lions rallied, equalising with Frank Lampard's 87th minute penalty.
Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley had also earlier hit the post, while Glen Johnson had seen a low strike pushed away by a fine Andriy Pyatov save.
Hodgson said: "You are always relieved when you are losing 1-0 and you get a late equaliser. I suppose all games you don't win at home people say it's not a great performance but I didn't think we did that badly.
"We kept at our task. We started poorly in the first ten minutes but once we got into our stride we had quite good control of the game.
"We went one down to a wonder strike and from then on against a good Ukrainian team you are always going to be up against it. But I was pleased with the way we kept playing our football, taking the game to them and creating chances.
"In the end we fully deserved our equaliser. I was very pleased with the way the players went about their task."
Hodgson rued the absence of the injured Wayne Rooney, Ashley Cole and John Terry and started with Cleverley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in midfield, also bringing youngsters Ryan Bertrand, Daniel Sturridge and Welbeck on as second-half substitutes.
"We did a miss a lot of players but the ones who came in, particularly the three youngsters at the end, acquitted themselves well and it is good for us in the future,” continued the Manager.
"We are not totally reliant on the old guard. We do have young players coming through who can step up to the plate. Welbeck, Sturridge and Bertrand made an impact.”
He added: "It was always going to be tough for Cleverley and Oxlade-Chamberlain after their excellent Friday night performance.
"Tom missed a couple of good chances in the first half but I still think those two players acquitted themselves fine in the game but it was good to have fresh legs to bring on in Sturridge and Welbeck and both did very well."