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Hodgson feels pride restored

Roy Hodgson believes his England side 'made the country proud' with their display in a crucial 4-1 win over Montenegro.

Last Updated: 12/10/13 at 10:13 Post Comment

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The Three Lions headed into Friday's World Cup qualifying encounter at Wembley knowing that their fate rested in their own hands, but aware that any untimely slip-ups could be costly.

Nerves were obvious during a tense opening 45 minutes, but talisman Wayne Rooney provided the breakthrough shortly after half-time.

A reply from Montenegro which brought them back into the tie at 2-1 threatened to provide an unwelcome twist in the tale, but efforts from debutant Andros Townsend and the in-form Daniel Sturridge saw England secure a comprehensive success.

Victory ensures England remain top of Group H and guarantees a top-two finish, keeping them firmly on course for Brazil 2014, and Hodgson admits he could not have asked for much more from his troops heading into a crucial double-header which also includes a home date with Poland on Tuesday.

He told Sky Sports News: "I think they made the country proud.

"I think the way we worked so hard every time we lost the ball, we worked really hard to chase back and win it back again. And of course, luckily, we had some good attacking moments, even in the first half.

"We were up against a packed defence, but that opening goal was very important because it meant that they had to come out a little bit more and it opened the way for us to score some more."

On Rooney, who has now netted six times in this qualifying campaign, and Townsend, who was making his senior international bow, Hodgson added: "It was a good strike at goal (from Danny Welbeck in the build-up to the opener).

"The goalkeeper couldn't hold it and I was a bit concerned at one moment that the ball had slipped away from Wayne, but he did well to hook his left foot around it. That put us on the path, really.

"At 2-0 we had some fabulous opportunities to score a third goal - there must have been four or five really good opportunities where we were very close to scoring. And then suddenly we have the cold shower of that deflected goal.

"But fortunately for me tonight, fortunately for the nation and fortunately for Andros himself, he stepped up to the plate and scored a fantastic goal which gave us the chance to see the game out quite comfortably."

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Readers' Comments

S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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