Attack is the way forward for Roy

Roy Hodgson believes his attack-heavy squad will help England flourish as Euro 2016 progresses.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 19th June 2016, 11:17 am
Updated Sunday, 19th June 2016, 1:18 pm
Roy Hodgson has shown a positive approach in including five attackers, including skipper Wayne Rooney (left)
Roy Hodgson has shown a positive approach in including five attackers, including skipper Wayne Rooney (left)

The 68-year-old has been pigeon-holed by many as a reserved manager, so raised eyebrows by naming a squad awash with forward options for France.

Hodgson selected just three out-and-out centre-backs in order to maximise the available attacking strength in depth – a decision that paid dividends as England secured an exhilarating 2-1 win against Wales on Thursday.

Jamie Vardy, Daniel Sturridge and Marcus Rashford came off the bench in Lens, with the former duo netting to propel England top of Group B ahead of Monday night’s final match against Slovakia.

“When I selected the 23, people looked at the 23 and there will always be people with opinions,” the England manager said.

“One of the things that was said was there were only seven out-and-out defenders but extra midfielders and attackers.

“But we deliberately went that way because we think in tournaments, that’s what you need. They evolve quickly and they are knockout games.

“It is nice that people have praised us for our boldness but if we had drawn or lost, it wouldn’t have made any difference to what we would have had to have done against Slovakia.

“We would have had to win anyway, so why not go 100 per cent for the victory in this one? Especially when I honestly believe that the play against Wales deserved a victory.

“I wouldn’t have thought there will be too many supporters out there who didn’t think we deserved to win the game, unless they are really die-hard Welsh supporters.”

Hodgson felt all that was lacking in the first half against Wales was tempo and aggression in the final third, leading to Vardy and Sturridge’s introduction during the break in Lens.

The substitutions worked as England eked out a stoppage time-winner, leading Hodgson to express joyous celebrations rarely seen during his tenure as his country’s manager.

“Once the game starts, I can shut out all the things that are being suggested, said, all the problems, maybe, that we have discussed amongst ourselves and concentrate 100 per cent on what is happening on the field.

“What have we got to do? What’s necessary? Are changes necessary? If so, what changes? Is it formation, is it personnel? And then I steel myself to deal with all the things that will come afterwards.

“Once you allow yourself to get caught up in, ‘Blimey, if this doesn’t go our way, this, this and this will be said’, you don’t do your job as well.”