Cahill defends Hodgson over six England changes

Matt Stead

Gary Cahill says Roy Hodgson’s team selection was not to blame for England’s inability to breakdown a resilient Slovakia side on Monday night.

The Three Lions were held to a 0-0 draw in St Etienne after Hodgson made six changes to the side that beat Wales with Daniel Sturridge’s last-minute goal.

 Wales’ 3-0 victory over Russia in their final group game sees Chris Coleman’s men top Group B, while England had to settle for second place.

“It’s a disappointment, to be honest, because in the three games we had the majority of possession and we dominated play tonight,” said Cahill. “We couldn’t unlock the door.”

The Chelsea defender was asked if Hodgson’s changes to the team affected the side’s tempo against Slovakia, to which Cahill replied: “I don’t think so. The rhythm was that we had the ball constantly and we didn’t just quite have that cutting edge to open them up.

“In games like that, you need something a little bit special and someone to shoot from outside the box or create something which we nearly did.

“It wasn’t to be. But we should have won the game.”

Portugal, Austria, Hungary and Iceland are England’s possible opponents in the first knockout round of the competition.