Roy Hodgson: We've got our ticket, we'll do the best we can

Wednesday 28 Oct 2015
Roy and Ray pose with the kids at the Mane Chance Soccer Clinic (Photo: Gill Shaw)

After guiding his team to Euro 2016 in perfect fashion, Roy Hodgson says he is looking forward to England’s tournament preparation programme when they face four "top nations". 

The Three Lions won ten out of ten in qualifying on the road to France – the only country do so – and will continue building for next summer with friendlies against the French, holders Spain, world champions Germany and Holland. 

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And, when they get to the Euros, Hodgson admits it will be a special occasion with two other home nations, Northern Ireland and Wales, also going, with Republic of Ireland still in the mix for qualification through the play-offs.

"We don't think we're invincible," said Hodgson. "We know that there are lots of teams out there that can play at the same level as us and on a given day can beat us. 

"We'll find that out in the friendlies to come when we're playing four top nations.

"The good thing is that we'll go into those games in top shape ourselves and our learning curve is not so steep anymore, it's plateaued out to some extent. 

"These games we have between now and the Euros will teach us even more, maybe just to learn those little extra details that could stand us in good stead in France."

Roy gives the kids some pointers (Photo: Gill Shaw)

Roy gives the kids some pointers (Photo: Gill Shaw)

He added: "It's a long time since all the Home Nations were involved. I think it's a great thing. 

"We're keeping our fingers crossed for Republic of Ireland as well, they're more than capable of winning that play-off. 

"It's then just the one nation that's missed out, but to be fair it was unlikely that both Scotland and Ireland would go through once they were drawn in the same group. 

"So we're happy to be going with the others and wait to see if we draw any of them in our group."

Hodgson was speaking during a break on a busy day coaching children at a football clinic in Guildford, Surrey, in aid of the Mane Chance Sanctuary charity.

Kids play at the Mane Chance clinic (Photo: Gill Shaw)

Kids play at the Mane Chance clinic (Photo: Gill Shaw)

The Three Lions boss, along with England coach Ray Lewington and coaches from Woking FC, put over 180 youngsters aged from 10 to 16-years-old through their paces in a series of two-hour sessions across the day at Merrist Wood College. 

But while his attentions were focused on his day’s coaching assignment, thoughts of France 2016 were never far from Hodgson’s mind and he was asked by the watching media about his hopes when they cross the Channel in June. 

"First of all I think we need to be a bit lucky with injuries and players that are available," he told Sky Sports News. 

"Certainly in the last few months there are players we think are going to be quite important figures in France that we still don't have available. We need them to get fit first of all.

"Also, we need to get off to a good start, which we didn't in the World Cup of course.

Roy shows his skills in goal (Photo: Gill Shaw)

Roy shows his skills in goal (Photo: Gill Shaw)

"When you lose the first game you're very much on the back foot but I think most important of all we need to keep our confidence high and keep working on our game. 

"Players need to feel comfortable and know exactly what they need to be doing to be playing at the level we want to see them playing at."

He added: "And, of course, as in all football matches, you need a little bit of luck with decisions to go your way and the bounce of the ball to go your way. 

"If we can keep working and ensuring that the players feel stronger with each game then who knows? 

"Someone has got to win it and we've got our lottery ticket, we'll be going there to do the best we can."

Next up for England is their trip to Alicante to take on Spain on Friday 13 November before they welcome Euro 2016 hosts France to Wembley Stadium four days later.

Tickets for that game on Tuesday 17 November are still available, so make sure you do not miss out. You can buy online today via

By Jamie Bradbury FA Editor