Roy Hodgson wants to keep momentum in Euro qualifying

Saturday 05 Sep 2015
Roy Hodgson watches his side ease to a 6-0 win in Serravalle
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Roy Hodgson has challenged his England players to maintain their winning streak by beating Switzerland on Tuesday. 

The Three Lions thumped San Marino 6-0 to book their place at Euro 2016 thanks to goals from Wayne Rooney, Ross Barkley, Harry Kane, two from Theo Walcott and an own goal from Cristian Brolli.

It means England have now won all seven of their group games but Hodgson has told his side bigger tests lie in wait ahead of next summer's European showpiece in France.

San Marino 0-6 England

UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier
Saturday 5 September
San Marino Stadium, Serravalle

Speaking after his team's victory at the San Marino Stadium, the England Manager said: "We knew it wouldn't be easy today in the sense that the pitch was poor.

"It was important to maintain our discipline and professionalism because we know we're a much better team and should win the game.

"But we didn't want anything to go wrong for us or for anything to happen in the game that would've seen us taking a step back before Tuesday's game.  

"I'm satisfied we've won it by a good margin and now we've qualified we'll see what happens."

England host the Swiss at Wembley on Tuesday night and then finish their qualifying campaign with games against Estonia and Lithuania. 

But four international matches have been pencilled in against Spain, France, Germany and Holland in a bid to give Hodgson's men some top level competition prior to the Euro 2016 kick-off. 

And Hodgson added: "We need those games. In our qualifying group we've been reasonably fortunate and haven't always played the very, very top sides.

"And even though you've got to win your games we really need to get out and play against teams who are probably ranked higher than us and have won tournaments more recently than we have to check what we can do against them. 

"But we're quite confident we can give them a game. We don't have an inferiority complex but it'll be a great learning curve for us. We have four planned but it might be good if we could get a few more in before the Euros. 

"We won't be looking to improve our FIFA ranking by playing lower ranked teams - we'll be trying to play against the best and see if we can compete with them."

Captain Rooney's 13th-minute penalty got England off to a good start and the goal puts him level with Sir Bobby Charlton as England's all-time leading scorer on 49 goals. 

Wayne Rooney equals Sir Bobby Charlton

Rooney equals Sir Bobby Charlton's England goalscoring record

And after Brolli's own goal on the half hour mark, four second-half efforts from Barkely, Kane and a brace from Walcott added gloss to the victory. 

Hodgson handed starts to Jonjo Shelvey, John Stones, Luke Shaw and Jamie Vardy while Walcott, Kane and Fabian Delph replaced Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rooney and James Milner in the second half.

And Hodgson revealed some of those players have put themselves in contention to play against Switzerland.

He added: "We wanted to protect one or two players and it was in our thoughts that we'd try and keep Wayne on for a maximum of 60 minutes because Harry Kane needed to get some football. 

"It was the perfect situation in that we took off three important players who'll be important on Tuesday night. Some others didn't even start the game and one or two others who perhaps weren't in contention to start on Tuesday have had good games today. 

"Jonjo Shelvey really does deserve a mention because he played faultlessly for 90 minutes - that was a good performance. 

"In Michael Carrick and Jonjo we have two very good passing players in that central midfield position and when Jack Wilshere gets back the competition will be increased even further."

By Mark Gilbert Head of Editorial Content