The lack of cutting edge which left England as runners-up in Euro 2016 Group B has been frustrating but the team’s performances show great potential, manager Roy Hodgson said after the 0-0 draw against Slovakia on Monday. (RESULTS | STANDINGS)
England will play the Group F runners-up in the last 16 and Hodgson is confident that any opponents could find themselves on the receiving end when his team starts firing on all cylinders.
“It’s certainly very disappointing that once again we had all the play and a lot of opportunities around the Slovakian box and were not able to take one,” he told a news conference.
“I believe we have players in the team who can score goals and will score goals.
“We have played three games and in each of them we have been the totally dominant team.
“We will be criticised as a team unable to take chances and score goals but that’s the way it goes. I think the time will come when we will take those chances and some team might be at the end of that fairly soon.”
Having made six changes to the side which came from behind to beat Wales 2-1 after a 1-1 draw with Russia, Hodgson praised the performances of right back Nathaniel Clyne and midfielder Jordan Henderson.
“I think Clyne had a very very good game as did Henderson in front of him so those players have strengthened their chances of playing in future games and proved to me that we have a very good squad of players,” he said.
“I thought we fully deserved to win the game. We are in the knockout stages, which is where we wanted to be, and in the next game we have to try to make sure that we don’t just control the game for long periods and pass the ball reasonably well.”
Hodgson was asked whether he was expecting to play Hungary in the round of 16 and potentially hosts France in the quarter-finals.
“I am happy to play anybody,” he said. “It would have been nice to have done it as top of the group because our performances merited that but now we have to play the Group F runner-up.
“We know we can have a tough game on our hands but we also know that whoever plays us will also have a tough game on their hands,” he added.
“I have great respect for the French team but first of all we need to win the round of 16. If we do get through, it will be interesting because I don’t think they will play against us the same way Russia, Wales and Slovakia did.”