Roy Hodgson believes England’s underwhelming home defeat to Holland will aid his Euro 2016 preparations once the disappointment has subsided.
Much was expected from the Three Lions after following up November’s victory over France by coming from behind to beat world champions Germany 3-2 in their own backyard on Saturday.
However, England were unable to build on such impressive wins in front of a sell-out Wembley crowd yesterday, with Jamie Vardy’s first-half goal cancelled out by Vincent Janssen’s penalty.
It was just England’s second defeat since the World Cup and, while the frustration was clear, Hodgson believes the loss will help him select the squad announced on May 12.
“It was different games, different opponents, different teams, so who knows?” Hodgson said when asked why his team failed to scale the heights reached in Germany.
“To be honest, I gave a lot of different players a chance to play tonight. I’ve really aired the squad, if you like.
“Hopefully that might be to my advantage in the future, when I am thinking about players and thinking about making decisions.
“But at the moment I’m just bitterly disappointed that I am sitting here having lost a home game at Wembley in front of 82,000 people after such a good performance on Saturday night. It really is a high followed by a low.”
Hodgson’s frustration was fuelled by Holland’s second-half goals being allowed to stand.
The England boss felt it was harsh to call handball against Danny Rose and that Janssen should have been punished for bundling over substitute Phil Jagielka before setting up the winner.
“I don’t think the decisions were particularly favourable to us,” Hodgson said.
“The second one in particular was exceptionally harsh. The first one is a decision that is given these days, which I unfortunately don’t agree with.
“I really do believe to give handball it has got to be absolutely deliberate and not hit the hand when people are trying to block the ball.
“I am becoming a dinosaur if I keep saying that because I see these decisions being given every week. Whether I agree with it or not, it doesn’t make a lot of difference and it was given.
“But I was more disappointed that we didn’t reach the level of intensity or creativity that we did on Saturday night.
“And our domination of the ball and our domination of possession didn’t lead to enough goal chances, so that disappointed me most.
“It would have been nice had the referee given the foul for the second goal and we’d have at least come in here not having lost, but I still wouldn’t have come in feeling particularly happy because I was hoping for a better performance as were the players in such a fantastic crowd.”