Hodgson: It's still in our hands

Roy Hodgson admitted England paid a heavy World Cup price for not finishing Montenegro off when they were down.

Last Updated: 27/03/13 at 08:39 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  Premier League. Click here to bet.

Roy Hodgson admitted England paid a heavy World Cup price on Tuesday night for not finishing Montenegro off when they were down.

England produced possibly their best 45 minutes under Hodgson to seize the initiative in Podgorica through Wayne Rooney's sixth-minute goal.

But after wasting a succession of chances, and failing to get a penalty when Stefan Savic brought down Danny Welbeck, England were hit by a tidal wave of home attacks after the interval that eventually brought Montenegro their reward when Dejan Damjanovic scored from close range.

"I don't think Danny would have been wanting to go down in that situation," said Hodgson of the penalty incident.

"But there were several times in that first half where we got behind the defence and were close to creating that opportunity.

"When you do that and don't score, you run the risk that this Montenegro team will come out and play. I thought we stood up to it quite well, but they equalised in the 76th minute and we didn't have time to come back again."

It leaves England in a tricky position as Montenegro retain their two-point lead in Group H, but know they will have a chance to extend it when they entertain Ukraine in June, when England do not have a fixture.

"It's in our hands because we still have to play Montenegro and Poland at home," said Hodgson.

"It goes back to the Ukraine result at home, where we drew when we'd like to have won.

"Maybe the Ukraine away could be crucial for us.

"But with three out of the last four at home it's still in our hands. We hope to make sure it remains in our hands by winning those matches."

Mystifyingly, Hodgson waited until virtually the final 10 minutes before making a change.

And the introduction of Ashley Young for Tom Cleverley worked too as it helped stem the flow of home attacks and allowed England to finish the contest back on the front foot.

"We were trying to hold on to make the change at a slightly later time and wanted to move Steven Gerrard deeper and move Ashley into the wide position," said Hodgson.

"But they scored as we made it.

"You're always debating changes but at 1-0 we weren't 100% convinced there was a change we could make to make a vast difference to what was going on."

There was one unfortunate post-script after the final whistle when a supporter who had been using a loud-hailer to whip up the crowd, uttered an obscenity about England when their fans were still in the stadium.

With the game twice having to be stopped due to objects being thrown on the pitch, it did not paint the Montenegro supporters in a positive light for all the immense noise they made.

"That is the way you support your national team, except for some objects that were thrown onto the pitch but that happens sometimes," said Montenegro coach Branko Brnovic.


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

Footer 365

Roberto Martinez says Manchester United will be title challengers again next season

Everton boss Roberto Martinez expects Manchester United to be Premier League title challengers again next season.

Premier League: Tottenham dent Fulham's survival hopes with 3-1 win at White Hart Lane

Tottenham dented Fulham's Premier League survival hopes with a 3-1 win over their London rivals at White Hart Lane.

Manuel Pellegrini says Man City have had an 'important' number of injuries this season

Manuel Pellegrini says there is no doubt that injuries have hampered Manchester City's title challenge this season.

Mail Box

Kieran's Not The Only One Keeping Notes

Another chap in the mailbox has been keeping notes on comments made by optimistic Man United fans. Plus, Garey Vance is offering a double-or-quits on his new tattoo...

Mignolet Is The Reason For Liverpool Flying

Mignolet's bad kicking is the reason for Liverpool's success, whilst one man keep notes on F365 mails. Plus England excitement, Arteta and a bad Walsall experience...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property