Roy Hodgson happy with 'aggressive and bold attacking'

Thursday 16 Jun 2016
Roy Hodgson was delighted to see England's fortunes change
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England boss Roy Hodgson believes his side were well worthy of their victory over Wales, as they took over top spot in Group B.

The Three Lions came from behind to secure a 2-1 win thanks to second-half goals from subs Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge.

And after largely dominating the game, before finding themselves a goal down to Gareth Bale’s free-kick just before the break, Hodgson was pleased to see his side bounce back to take the points.

England 2-1 Wales

UEFA Euro 2016
Group B
Thursday 16 June 2016
Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens
Live on BBC One

"I’ve got to say, particularly in the second half, it was a very dominant performance and we were very aggressive and bold in our attacking play,” said the Three Lions boss.

"It took a lot of incredibly good defending from a Wales back five to keep us out, but we got the two goals and we go home happy."

Hodgson admits it was always in his plans to introduce Sturridge and Vardy from the bench, after naming the same starting line-up from the Russia game.

The pair came on at half time in Lens and scored a goal each to turn the game in England’s favour and Hodgson was keen to explain the rationale behind his selection.

"We thought a lot about what this starting eleven should be and of course we were aware that the game against Russia took a lot out of people,” he revealed.

"But I didn’t want to start breaking eggs with a big stick and I thought I’d want to keep one or two up my sleeve.

"I wasn’t counting on going a goal down and I was rather hoping we’d see the first half out, maybe even in the lead, and then we’d make our changes.

England manager Roy Hodgson watches on as his side play Wales in Lens.

Hodgson made two substitutions at half time to turn the game in his side's favour

"They were pushed onto me a little bit earlier than normal but it was always in our thoughts to bring Sturridge and Vardy onto the field, and it was always going to be someone like Wilshere or Rashford when we’re looking for a goal."

It was a deserved victory for Hodgson’s side, who dominated for the majority of the game but had to wait until the 92nd minute for Sturridge’s winner.

And after conceding a late equaliser against Russia in their opening game, Hodgson was glad to feel the joy of a stoppage-time strike himself.

"We played so well against Russia and lost a goal in the 93rd minute, and today we worked so hard in the second half," he added. 

"And we push and push and push and it takes until the 92nd minute for us to get our goals, so it does go to show that when people tell us that things even out, it’s very rare to see them even out in the space of two games.

"If I’d have been watching from afar and I wasn’t involved with England and watching Wales play some other opponent, I’d probably feel very sorry for them, but you’ll have to excuse me for not feeling sorry for them because I want to be pleased for ourselves.

"Chris [Wales boss Chris Coleman] won’t be too disappointed with his team’s performance because I’m sure he’ll be looking forward to the knock-out rounds."

England captain Wayne Rooney controls the ball under pressure from Gareth Bale.

England captain Wayne Rooney controls the ball under pressure from Gareth Bale

Three Lions captain Wayne Rooney joined Hodgson in praising the team’s patience and character, as they kept up their search for a winner until it arrived with just seconds remaining.

"In the first half, we did okay but we had to move the ball quicker," said the Manchester United star. 

"We were unfortunate to go in at the break 1-0 down but in the second half the manager made some positive changes and it’s paid off for us. 

"I thought we were fantastic in the second half, we moved the ball around well, made Wales work hard, kept the ball and kept probing them and got the win in the end. 

"We showed a lot of character today and everyone in the dressing room is delighted."

England will round off their Group B fixtures when they face Slovakia in Saint-Etienne on Monday evening (8pm, live on ITV).

By FA Staff