'At times it was easy - but I really couldn't fault anyone'

Monday 12 Oct 2015
A smiling Roy Hodgson in Vilnius on Monday

Roy Hodgson felt England’s comfortable victory over Lithuania was the perfect way to end their qualifying campaign for Euro 2016.

Ross Barkley, a Giedrius Arlauskis own goal and a smashed third from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain saw England record a 3-0 win in Lithuania.

Despite already being assured of a place at Euro 2016, the victory meant England ended their qualifying campaign with a 100 per cent record, the Three Lions becoming only the sixth team to achieve such a feat.

Lithuania v England

UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifier
Group E
7.45pm (BST), Monday 12 October 2015
LFF Stadium, Vilnius, Lithuania

And while attentions will now turn to France and the finals, Hodgson was keen to praise his team’s performance with his starting XI against Lithuania having only 140 caps between them ahead of kick off.

“I think it [10 wins in qualifying] is an achievement and I am very proud of the players’ performance,” Hodgson said.

“I thought they were excellent the way they went about their business here tonight, especially the first half where I thought we were so dominant.

“The second half the game got a bit too easy for us but there was still a lot of hard work being put in, I thought the quality of our play was very good.

“And to get 10 wins out of 10 is never easy in these qualifying groups and tsake a bit of pride form it.

“A lot of the players we have used have been due to injury and tonight we had the luxury of using a lot of players so everyone who was part of this troop has got on and played some football for England which is good.

“I think the players who represented
us tonight did a
terrific job”

Roy Hodgson England manager

“It may not always have happened but I am pleased about that and I think the players who represented us tonight did a terrific job and have got a feeling that they have strengthened their chances of being considered when it comes to France.

“There is a lot of water to pass under the bridge before then I know but I really couldn’t fault anyone tonight. 

"I thought it was a terrific performance, a really dominant one and a nice way to end what has been an excellent qualifying campaign for us.”

England now face tricky tests against Spain, France and world champions Germany before Euro 2016 kicks off.

Danny Ings replaces Harry Kane to win his first senior cap

Danny Ings replaces Harry Kane to win his first senior cap

And Hodgson is more than ready to test his current crop of players against tougher opposition.

“We will use the upcoming friendlies to learn and see where we are,” the England manager added. “We know in a group like this if we concentrate and play properly we can do very well, in fact we have done exceptionally well.

“It would have been a surprise had we not qualified but now we know also going to France we will come across strong opposition, better opposition, teams which are more capable to cause us problems and we will see how we deal with that.

“We know the players are working vey hard on their game and whatever comes up in the game we need to continue to work on and we will do so.”

England's next home game is against Euro 2016 hosts France at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday 17 November. You can get tickets online now via TheFA.com/tickets

By FA Staff