England manager Roy Hodgson has hit back at the critics who attacked his team selection for Monday’s Euro 2016 clash with Slovakia, Sky Sports reports. Hodgson made six changes to the starting line-up following the win over Wales and, despite having the better of the game, his side were held to a 0-0 draw by the Slovaks.
Roy Hodgson wants to stay on with England but won’t beg for new contract .Failure to win meant England came second in Group B and have been cast into what appears to be the tougher half of the draw. But, speaking ahead of Monday’s second-round clash with Iceland, an irritated Hodgson scoffed at the suggestion that his changes had cost the team victory.
And he was particularly irked by the criticism he received for resting captain Wayne Rooney, having regularly had his faith in the Manchester United man questioned in the past.
“I accept so many nonsenses that are said to me and written that I don’t often get a chance to put things right,” said Hodgson, when asked about his team selection on Monday. “I’d like to put one or two of them right.
“I’ve had to stick my chin out and say ‘I don’t care what anyone else thinks, Wayne Rooney is going to the Euros, Wayne Rooney is our captain and Wayne Rooney is going to play.’
“And now we didn’t score against Slovakia despite 29 shots and 15 corners and God knows what else, because Wayne Rooney didn’t play more than 30 minutes.
“Well, excuse me, I find it hard to go along with that line of argument, that I should now regret the fact that I didn’t start with Rooney or that I didn’t start with (Harry) Kane and (Raheem) Sterling who, if I had started with them and lost the game, I would have been criticised.”
Hodgson thinks performances rather than results should be used to judge selection decisions and maintains that he has been encouraged by England’s displays in France so far. “At the end of the game, you can play well or you can play badly,” he added.
Raheem Sterling can still be key for England at Euro 2016, says Phil Thompson. “We won all our three preparation games. I don’t think we played particularly well in any of the three but we won them, so everyone was hunky dory and fine.
“Here, in my opinion, we’ve played better. I think it bodes well for the future, what we’re doing here. “But we haven’t won, so therefore results are bad, so therefore we are bad. That’s life, I accept it, I’m not trying to gloss over that in any way.
“But I can’t be as facile as to say: ‘Yeah, you’re right, I wish to God now we had played Wayne Rooney.’ “I don’t know that if we’d played Wayne Rooney, the score would have been any different. It wasn’t when he came on.”