Hodgson reveals unusual ‘highlight’

Published: Monday 22nd December 2014 by The News Editor

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England manager Roy Hodgson’s highlight of 2014 was the moment his side bade farewell to the World Cup and avoided a torrent of abuse from supporters.

Defeats to Italy and Uruguay saw England exit the Brazil 2014 tournament at the group stage prior to the concluding 0-0 draw with Costa Rica.

Yet Hodgson has chosen the moment when the England squad addressed travelling fans after finishing bottom of Group D as his year’s best moment.

“If there was one highlight of the year which really totally revived my faith in the average man’s appreciation of football and his desire to support his team, then it would be the experience in Belo Horizonte,” Hodgson told FATV.

“We played 0-0 against Costa Rica. We then went to the fans to thank them – really probably expecting them to not be terribly grateful for our thanks – (and) the reception we got there was really quite incredible.

“I think if you said to me ‘tell me one thing in 2014 that’s had a major effect on your life’ I would say that.”

Hodgson, who referenced the retirements of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole in an end-of-year interview, hopes England have learned lessons from Brazil which they have taken into the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, which has begun with four wins from four matches.

“Fortunately we’ve managed to redress the balance somewhat since the World Cup,” added Hodgson, whose side finished the year with six wins out of six after friendly defeats of Scotland and Norway.

“Obviously the team has been even further renewed. We lost one or two senior players at the end of the World Cup for one reason or another.

“That’s forced us to look at what’s available and many of the players available these days are the younger ones and luckily they’ve repaid our faith in them during this autumn period.”

And Hodgson is optimistic for the future.

“Certainly on paper we’re the best team in the group and as a result it will be our duty to make certain we qualify from the group,” he added.

“Nothing I’ve seen so far has led me to believe that’s not possible. But we’ve got our feet on the ground.

“We know we’ve got work to do, we know we can get better, we know we can improve.

“And the players are working very hard at the moment to make certain that we become as solid and unified a team as we can possibly be.

“I’m pleased that we’ve had a good run of games now. I’m pleased that the team, in my opinion, is playing some good football and showing signs of a bright future.”

Published: Monday 22nd December 2014 by The News Editor

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