Roy: Hostile atmosphere in Scotland will help us

Monday 17 Nov 2014
Hodgson wants his players to learn from Scotland experience
Roy Hodgson is hoping for a stern test against Scotland on Tuesday night to help prepare his side for the challenges ahead. 

Having dispatched Slovenia at Wembley on Saturday to maintain their 100 per cent start to European Qualifying, England head north of the border to take on the ‘Auld Enemy’. 

Though the game is a friendly – the return encounter of the 3-2 win in August 2013 – Hodgson expects the Glasgow crowd to make it a difficult night for England. 

Scotland v England

Vauxhall International Challenge Match
8pm, Tuesday 18 November
Celtic Park, Glasgow

And while the manager wants to use the fixture to see some of the players who have not featured as much as others, he also knows that experience will be vital. 

"I am going to need some experienced players on the field," said Hodgson. "I can’t just make wholesale changes, because we want to go up there and give a performance. 

"The Scottish fans are exceptional, especially at Celtic Park where they are very good at supporting their team. 

"That is what we need. We have done all we can do in these first four qualifying games so we are reasonably satisfied with that, but we know there is a long way to go before France 2016." 

He continued: "We know there are a lot of stern tests ahead of us and it starts on Tuesday night. 

"I hope the players who get a chance to play will be able to stand up to any pressures and I hope they will learn from it. Any lessons we take from it will only be valuable in the future."

Roy Hodgson

Roy is expecting a stern test against Scotland

While England have begun the season in impressive form, winning five out of five, Hodgson acknowledges that the team is still a work in progress. 

With qualification for the European Championship Finals being their ultimate goal, Hodgson called for his team to improve with each game on the road to France. 

He has been pleased with the energy of the new-look team, particularly in their approach to winning back possession. 

"I think we're very quick to win the ball back and people are very quick to react," he said. 

"What we call the 'five-yard furies', I think we're seeing them all over the field, particularly in the opponents' half.

Roy Hodgson applauds England against Slovenia

Hodgson claps England's 3-1 win over Slovenia

"It's too soon after just four or five games to say 'we're improving here; we're improving there'. But I certainly don't think we're going backwards. 

"A lot of players are stepping up to the plate and I certainly believe we're finding more who could challenge for a position in the team."  

"We are moving in a decent direction. I do think we can get a lot better. 

"But we can't do more at the moment than keep working and keep trying to win the games in front of us. We won't be patting ourselves too much on the back at the moment."

By Jamie Bradbury FA Editor at the England Team Hotel