Roy Hodgson: 'We must work to rebuild for Euro 2016'

Tuesday 12 Aug 2014
Roy Hodgson says there is 'rebuilding' to do when England start Euro campaign

Roy Hodgson admits he's still feeling disappointed and frustrated nearly two months after England's World Cup was brought to a premature end. 

The Three Lions were knocked out in the group stages in Brazil, their fate sealed after only two games following defeats to Italy and Uruguay. But Hodgson believes his side deserved more from their efforts. 

Now, as he prepares for the new campaign and England's opening two games next month - a friendly at Wembley against Norway and their first Euro 2016 qualifier in Switzerland - the manager admits there is rebuilding to do. 

England boss Roy Hodgson, assistant Ray Lewington and goalkeeping coach Dave Watson.

Hodgson, assistant Ray Lewington and goalkeeping coach Dave Watson

"There's still great disappointment," Hodgson said in an interview with Sky Sports News HQ. "I feel enormous frustration because the preparations had gone very well. 

"I thought the players were very focused and everyone was so committed to doing well and I honestly believed we could. 

"Then, of course, we lose the first game [against Italy] - in my opinion a little bit unluckily. We certainly played well enough and deserved more. 

"In the second game [against Uruguay], things were looking OK, we got ourselves going, were in the control of the game and we conceded a really bad goal, a somewhat freakish goal. 

"So, all of a sudden, we’d lost two and we were out of the competition before we even started." 

Hodgson continued: "It was a bitter blow and it will take more than a couple of months to come over that. 

"We’ve got a lot of work to do now rebuilding. Not only rebuilding as a team, but rebuilding the faith that people have showed in us. 

"We felt that people were so much behind us, like ourselves really, believing it could be a great tournament. 

"As it turned out, it was a bad tournament, and as a result we’ve got to look forward to 2016 and make certain that we don’t allow it to happen again. Hopefully we don't have the same lack of fortune." 

Roy and Raheem

Roy Hodgson chats to Raheem Sterling in Brazil

While results didn't go England's way at the World Cup, there were some positives for Hodgson during the Finals. 

Impressive performances of some of his younger players, including Liverpool's Raheem Sterling and Everton's Ross Barkley, will give him food for thought with Euro 2016 qualifiers on the horizon. 

And, with more experience with their clubs and country over the next two years, the boss believes it can only see them improve. 

"The general public understand football, they see these young players coming through, this enormous potential they have," added Hodgson. 

"With the games they’ll get with us and, hopefully, the games they’ll get with their club teams and at Champions League level, I can see these players even more further forward in terms of experience." 

"We have gone over with a fine tooth comb everything we did in our preparation, selling the tournament to the players, we’ve analysed what the players gave us back. 

"Unfortunately, most of the time there is nothing so simple you could put your figure on and say ‘if only we’d have done that’. 

"The most important thing is that, without glossing over anything or detracting from the responsibility, we are going to make certain we are focused on 2016." 

Steven Gerrard and Roy Hodgson

Hodgson with former captain Steven Gerrard in Miami

Hodgson will also be without his captain during his first two years in charge, Steven Gerrard, who announced his international retirement last month. Ashley Cole also hung up his boots for England after missing out on a place in the World Cup squad. 

Meanwhile, vice-captain Frank Lampard has recently agreed a move to New York City when the MLS season starts next year. And though the former Chelsea midfielder, who will play in the Premier League with Manchester City before heading across the Atlantic, is still in international contention, Hodgson admits the young players will have to take on more responsibility. 

"It will be a new team in many respects, we’ve lost a lot of senior players in the two years building up to the World Cup and now we’ve lost Steven Gerrard," he said. 

"I’m realistic and Frank’s realistic, too. It’s not easy, when you are playing in America, to go back and forth for the odd England game. It’s not saying it’s not a possibility, but realistically, looking forward, we know that Frank will be 38 in 2016. 

"You never know when you’ll need players. Don’t forget Frank has been captain during my time, he’s been vice-captain all the time, so someone I have very close connections with and strong respect for."  

He added: "To some extent we have to make clear to the younger players that we can’t rely of these players anymore, you’ve got to stand up for yourselves. 

"You’ve got to find the leadership qualities amongst yourselves to win football matches and put up with all the pressures that playing for England brings."

England's next match is at Wembley Stadium against Norway on Wednesday 3 September. Click here to buy tickets online...

By Jamie Bradbury FA Editor