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Gerrard praise for Hodgson

Captain Steven Gerrard paid tribute to manager Roy Hodgson after England remained on course for a place at the World Cup finals.

Last Updated: 12/10/13 at 13:53 Post Comment

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Hodgson named Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Daniel Sturridge and debutant Andros Townsend in an attacking line-up at home to Montenegro and was rewarded with a 4-1 victory, although all the goals came after the break following a tense opening period.

And Gerrard said: "The players and manager took a bit of criticism after Ukraine (a drab 0-0 draw) and I thought his selection was very bold here.

"He went for three forwards and an out-and-out winger, and it paid off. Well done to him for his bravery."

Patience proves key

The hosts had to wait until three minutes after the break for their first goal and Gerrard said: "We had to show a lot of patience, we knew Montenegro were going to come and defend deep, try to spoil the game and play for the draw.

"We showed patience and I thought we lifted it after half-time. Thankfully, we got the breakthrough early on in the second half, and I thought we won the game comfortably in the end.

"We didn't do a lot wrong in the first-half but, credit to Montenegro, they defended well.

"But we knew if we kept knocking on the door, the breakthrough would come. Credit to the lads, we've done exactly what was asked of us."

Just to crank up the pressure on England, it emerged at half-time that Ukraine, their chief rivals for the group leadership, had beaten Poland 1-0 at home.

Gerrard added: "Yes, we knew, and it wasn't helpful, it added that bit of pressure.

"But I said earlier in the week it was going to be a pressure situation. We took that on the chin, accepted the responsibility, and we produced."

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I

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

I

n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

FairyNuff
Shaw told to shape up

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