Hodgson reflects on the last year

Published: Saturday 13th June 2015 by The News Editor

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England manager Roy Hodgson insists it is not for him to say whether his side are better than a year ago.

Sunday’s European Championship qualifier in Slovenia comes a year to the date since England’s World Cup defeat to Italy.

The side has been freshened up significantly since then and is unbeaten in this season’s fixtures, but Hodgson is taking a measured approach.

“It’s not for me to say, I don’t think self-assessments are the best,” he said.

“But there’s been a lot of changes, young players have come into the squad and team, a very different team to the one from a year ago. I believe it’s an exciting team with large margins of progression.

“We will grow and get better, I have to be satisfied on their behalf.”

After Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling was booed by sections of the crowd in last week’s dour draw with the Republic of Ireland, Hodgson has no worries about his mindset.

“No, I think it’s fairly common that good players get booed by opposing fans, I don’t find that tremendously unusual and would be more concerned if England fans were booing him,” he said.

“What interests me is his footballing ability and not contract disputes”.

Captain Wayne Rooney thinks England will be sharper for the Ireland draw.

“I do,” he said. “The game last week was disappointing for us all, something we have to move on from and the most important thing is we didn’t lose. We are focussed on tomorrow and trying to end the season with three points.”

Sunday could see Rooney break Sir Bobby Charlton’s goalscoring record, but he is putting the team first.

“The way I’ve been my whole career, the team comes first,” he said. “I want to win with the team. If I pick up personal achievements along the way, that’ll be great.”

Published: Saturday 13th June 2015 by The News Editor

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