Roy: England's future bright

Roy Hodgson predicted a successful 2013 for England despite signing off this year with a 4-2 defeat in Sweden.

Last Updated: 15/11/12 at 09:22 Post Comment

Roy Hodgson: Handed out six debuts in defeat in Stockholm

Roy Hodgson: Handed out six debuts in defeat in Stockholm

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

A visiting side featuring three debutants from the start - and three more from the bench - ran into an inspired Zlatan Ibrahimovic, whose four goals featured a last labelled "a master work" by the England manager.

But Hodgson, who lost a game in 90 minutes for the first time since his appointment, took plenty of encouragement from a friendly game his side were winning 2-1 before a series of second-half changes.

He told Sky Sports News: "I've got to say it was a very good performance for long periods.

"It's disappointing to lose, especially after 2012 when we haven't really lost that many, but if we're going to lose a game it's probably better to do that with the team we had.

"So many players were getting experience, feeling their way into the national team. Me and my coaching staff learned an awful lot today about a lot of players, and a lot of the things we learned were very positive.

"I thought the centre-backs - Steven Caulker and Gary Cahill - did very will for us. Glen Johnson and Leighton Baines were their usual very very good selves, and I thought Leon Osman actually was surprisingly good.

"Danny Welbeck was excellent at centre-forward and it was good to see Jack Wilshere back in an England shirt looking very assured for 25-30 minutes.

"Probably the biggest plus was to see Steven Gerrard playing so well, dominating the game on what was his 100th appearance for the country.

"With players at home coming back into reckoning we're looking forward to a bright 2013. This was the Sweden team that drew 4-4 with Germany recently and I thought for long periods we didn't just match them, we had the better of the game."

Hodgson was also quick to defend Joe Hart. Mistakes have crept into the Manchester City goalkeeper's game of late and that spilled onto the international scene in Stockholm.

Hart made two minor errors at the Friends Arena, in addition to two major ones, the last of which allowed Zlatan Ibrahimovic to score his stunning fourth goal.

"We are not bothered about Joe Hart," stated Hodgson. "He is a very good goalkeeper.

"We think we will have a lot of success with him in the goal even if tonight it wasn't maybe one of his best days, this happens in football."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Footer 365

Arsene Wenger responds to Jose Mourinho taunt

Arsene Wenger has brushed off Jose Mourinho's latest taunts after the Chelsea boss said the Gunners' recent spending may come as "a surprise".

Manuel Pellegrini backs Raheem Sterling to justify price

Manuel Pellegrini insists Raheem Sterling will justify his club-record £49million price tag at Manchester City in the coming years.

Jose Mourinho: Arsenal spending way to title contention

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says Arsene Wenger is buying his way into Premier League title contention.

Mail Box

Di Maria Just Didn't Fit (S**t Happens)

If a signing doesn't work there doesn't have to be a massive witch hunt. So there. Plus a detailed net spend rant, Breel Embolo, computer games and Louis van Gaal...

The Calculator Is On Wenger's Side...

Over the last five years, Arsenal's net spent is about 55% of Chelsea's, so shush your mouth Jose. Plus, Van Gaal is attacked and defended in equal measure...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company