England will need luck in the World Cup claims Denmark coach
Roy Hodgson encouraged by performance of Southampton pair against the Danes
March 6th, 2014
We’re less than 100 days away from the start of the 2014 World Cup, with Adam Lallana and Raheem Sterling playing their way into contention on Wednesday night after bright performance against the Scandinavians.
Although Hodgson went for a fairly predictable starting XI, the cameo display from Lallana caught the eye well before the Southampton captain laid the ball on a plate for Daniel Sturridge to nod home a late winner, while Luke Shaw was also an impressive performer in the left-back slot.
The England manager claims that his squad is shaping up nicely for Brazil, with Shaw now a serious contender to usurp Ashley Cole, while Lallana is surely nailed-on for the plane after replicating his club form at Wembley.
Denmark coach Morten Olsen “wished England good luck in the World Cup” after his team’s defeat, claiming that “England will need it” and many supporters will agree considering Italy and Uruguay lie in wait for the Three Lions in Brazil.
Hodgson has until 13 May to name his 23-man squad and seven stand-by players for the 2014 World Cup, with the England coach especially pleased by the second-half performance which saw the team improve after Wayne Rooney was replaced by Danny Welbeck.
“The second-half performance in particular, the young players, the energy we brought to the game, and the determination to get beyond a packed Danish defence even though we’d done it on quite a few occasions only to find a goalkeeper [Kasper Schmeichel] in outstanding form, those were the positives,” said Hodgson.
“The victory, too, and the fact we put a lot of youngish players on the pitch who haven’t played a lot for England, and they did a good job and improved their chances. The level of competition is getting greater.
“I wanted the young players to have a chance to get out there and play and I’m sure Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana will go back to Southampton feeling very positive. Lallana was very good. Very, very good. But we’ve been building this up over the last couple of years. This wasn’t the first time Raheem Sterling has got a game, or Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, Chris Smalling or Jack Wilshere. I’d just like to think these players will grow in confidence playing in the Premier League for their club sides over the remainder of the season.
“This was an important game tonight, and it was important we put in a good performance. I wanted a level of energy, with 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. The younger players are doing well at the moment. Hopefully people will be impressed with their performances, and I’ll have to make a decision going forward.”