HODGSON: WE CAN CHALLENGE FRANCE

England coach Roy Hodgson insists he will get a team on the pitch that will give France a game.

Last Updated: 04/06/12 at 09:41 Post Comment

Roy Hodgson: Has faith in his men

Roy Hodgson: Has faith in his men

England coach Roy Hodgson insists he will get a team on the pitch that will give France a game in the Euro 2012 opener in Donetsk next Monday.

Hodgson has been left in a very tricky spot after losing three important members of his squad through injury, before being lambasted by Rio Ferdinand's representative over the Manchester United man's omission.

He can only hope the dust settles quickly to allow him to concentrate on preparing his team to meet the in-form French, who took their unbeaten run to 21 by beating Estonia at the weekend.

Hodgson has seen enough over the past couple of weeks to believe the Three Lions can present Laurent Blanc's men with a stern challenge.

"Whether we can beat France I don't know because when you have gone 21 games unbeaten you obviously have something," he said.

"They have a lot of games behind them with a team they believe in.

"We can't suggest we are in that position, not least because of our key figures, Wayne Rooney can't play in the first two games, and others have left us through injury.

"I don't think we will go into the game as favourites but I am happier that we are moving towards a team that can not only give them a game but, if we have a bit of luck on our side, perhaps win."

Hodgson's plans have needed revising.

Frank Lampard might well have started next week, especially with Scott Parker still not back to his early season form. Gary Cahill definitely would have as John Terry's defensive partner.

Both men are injured though, so at the back, the introduction of Joleon Lescott will require Terry to shift away from his favoured left-sided defensive station.

Hodgson's remaining selection dilemmas surround the central striking position, where he will choose between Danny Welbeck and Andy Carroll, and the wider positions.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain did his chances no harm with an eye-catching first start in Saturday's win over Belgium, although Stewart Downing and James Milner will also come into contention.

The latter two players fit into the general belief that Hodgson wants his side to make it difficult for their opponents as a first priority.

However, he denies that is the case.

"If you are suggesting I have gone in with some major principle about being hard to beat, that is not the case at all," said Hodgson.

"We talk to the players about both aspects of the game.

"Of course, we do have good defenders and have plenty of experience in that area. That is what is shining through at the moment."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

O

ne of the conclusions from this list is that Man City should never buy a striker in January - good luck Wilfried Bony....

Savinator
F365's Top Ten Worst January Panic Buys

I

was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

Fly1ngh1gh
Cup defeat shames Mourinho

G

reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

cheshire-gooner
16 Conclusions: FA Cup Fourth Round Weekend

Footer 365

Capital One Cup: FA charges Chelsea striker Diego Costa over 'stamp' on Liverpool's Emre Can

The FA have charged Chelsea striker Diego Costa with violent conduct over his clash with Liverpool's Emre Can on Tuesday.

Transfer news: Arsenal complete the signing of Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista

Arsenal have completed the signing of Villarreal defender Gabriel on a long-term deal, for an undisclosed fee.

Gabriel Paulista has joined Arsenal from Villarreal, with striker Joel Campbell

Gabriel Paulista has joined Arsenal from Villarreal, with striker Joel Campbell going to the Spanish club on loan.

Mail Box

Erm... Balotelli To QPR..?

It's an afternoon Mailbox that offers the reaction to the reaction, with a defence for Diego Costa offered, and Balotelli mooted to move to QPR. Plus a silly idea about the Mails...

'Diego Costa Is A Thug.' Sore Losers..?

There is plenty of fallout from Diego Costa's stamps of authority on Tuesday's League Cup semi-final. Plus Blatter, Rodgers' substitutions and stretching the transfer truth...

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