Tuesday 21 October 2014

"Good luck in Brazil England, you'll need it" says Danish manager

Danish coach taunts Roy Hodgson's side's chances in Brazil after a disappointingly tepid performance in the 1-0 victory at Wembley.

MATT LAW

Published 06/03/2014 | 11:32

England striker Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring the only goal of the game last night.
England striker Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring the only goal of the game last night.

England manager Roy Hodgson was last night told “Good luck in the World Cup, you need it” after a narrow victory over Denmark.

Daniel Sturridge scored a late winner for England, which did little to convince Denmark manager Morten Olsen that Hodgson and his team can look forward to a successful World Cup campaign.

Olsen claimed Denmark would have won had Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen played and signed off his post-match press conference by saying: “I wish you good luck in the World Cup, you need it.”

Hodgson responded: “Every team will need good luck. We didn’t need it tonight, that’s for sure.”

Substitute Adam Lallana set up Sturridge’s 82nd-minute goal, while Southampton teenager Luke Shaw made his England debut and Raheem Sterling produced an impressive performance.

“You couldn’t get me to say anything negative about any of the young players,” said Hodgson. “At one stage we only had Gary Cahill, Joe Hart, Glen Johnson and Steven Gerrard who would consider themselves seniors.

“The others were finding their way and yet we still didn’t give Denmark a sniff at our goal. That’s a positive thing. I wanted the young players to have a chance to get out there and play, and I’m sure Shaw and Lallana will go back to Southampton feeling very positive. Lallana was very good, very, very good.

“We’ve been building up over the last couple of years – it’s not Raheem’s first game, or Jordan Henderson’s, Adam Lallana’s, Chris Smalling’s, or Jack Wilshere’s. I’d just like to think these players will grow in confidence playing in the Premier League and for their club sides.

“I wanted a level of energy, players running back when they lost the ball, making tackles from the wrong side, not being afraid to make mistakes knowing with their pace they can recover. That’s what I did see and we put the icing on the cake with the goal to win it.”

Sturridge now has three goals for England and the Liverpool striker said: “It was a good goal, but more important the way that the team played. It is not about myself or my individual attributes, it is about the team, and the result we got.

“Whichever system the manager plays me in, I will put my all into it, 100 per cent. It does not matter where I play on the field, it is about making a difference, making an impact and I will just keep trying to get goals and assists from whatever position I am in.”

Hodgson gave Ashley Cole and Shaw a half each against Denmark and claimed their performances have made his decision to pick which left-back will go to Brazil with Leighton Baines even tougher.

“I thought they were both very good,” said Hodgson. “Obviously they’re different players, so there’s something to choose between them. But Ashley got forward and his defending was good, and Luke carried on in the same way. Leighton Baines didn’t even get a look in today.

“You’ll be pushing me even harder now to say which player I’ll use and which one will be understudy. It’s tougher now, yes, but there’s a lot of matches still to be played. I’ll see a lot of Luke Shaw, Leighton Baines and, hopefully, Ashley Cole in the coming months.

“I wasn’t surprised with Ashley. I’m a great admirer of him. To play 107 times for England and be the best in the world for so long demands respect.

“I’ve watched him in training and he’s been unbelievably good, and very fit – right at the top of the running statistics – so there’s no question about his fitness.”

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere suffered an early injury scare, but managed to carry on and complete 59 minutes before being replaced by Lallana.

“It was always the plan to replace him just after half-time, not least of all because Arsenal have some important games coming up,” said Hodgson.

“The kick made that more obvious as a decision. I was a bit concerned when he went down. It was a nasty one. I hoped it was a bruise rather than anything more serious, and it was. I’m hoping when he goes back to the Arsenal he’ll be fine."

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