England coach Hodgson impressed despite slender 1-0 win over Portugal

London, June 3 (IANS) England football team chief coach Roy Hodgson says his side ‘looked good’ in their final Euro 2016 warm-up tie against Portugal despite the Three Lions needing 86 minutes to get on the score sheet and sealing an uninspiring 1-0 victory here.

It was a Chris Smalling header which helped England win here on Thursday night against Portugal who were reduced to 10 men in the 35th minute. However, neither the England midfielders nor the forwards were impressive in the whole encounter.

But Hodgson insisted he was happy with his team’s performance.

“I’m not prepared to accept that we didn’t play well,” Hodgson was quoted as saying by the Independent.

“We looked good, we had composure throughout the game, but it would have been better to play against eleven.

“We never looked like conceding a goal and I’m not prepared to add my voice to the debate (about the performance.”

Hodgson also said he does not want to criticise his own footballers after winning three games on the trot.

“I’m not prepared to stand here and criticise some players. If I start being dissatisfied with three wins against Australia, Turkey and Portugal I’m going to be a hard coach to satisfy,” he said.

England lacked the attacking edge upfront with Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane being starved of service. Later Wayne Rooney moved in as a centre forward.

But Hodgson claimed Vardy and Kane had to drift wide in order to protect England’s defence.

“We played with split strikers. You need your strikers to split. If you play with them with Rooney central as well, you can’t defend the wide areas,” Hodgson said.

“There were some moments where you might be right and they were too wide, but their job is to split and come together,” he added.

“If you play with a man in behind them, you have to make sure he has space in which to run.”

–IANS

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