Swiss clash too soon - Hodgson

2014-09-08 08:32
Roy Hodgson (AFP)

London - England manager Roy Hodgson said on Sunday he would have liked Monday's opening European Championship Group E fixture away to Switzerland, the team he was once in charge of, to have come later in the qualifying programme.

The air of negativity surrounding England after a poor World Cup in June, when they took only one point from three games, was not dispelled by defeating Norway 1-0 in a friendly on Wednesday.

While captain Wayne Rooney said the players were looking forward to "a nice game to play in", Hodgson told the same news conference in Basel: "In an ideal world we would have chosen to play Switzerland, who on paper are certainly the major rival for the number one spot in the group, later on.

"We would have liked to have had a bit more time with this group of players to see how we can form them into the team we have in our head."

Switzerland, coached by Hodgson from 1992 until 1995, including the 1994 World Cup finals, are number nine in FIFA's world rankings, 11 places ahead of England.

The visitors will be without Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge because of injury but Hodgson said that not calling up a replacement showed England are confident in the other strikers they have, who are Rooney, Arsenal's Danny Welbeck and Sturridge's Liverpool club-mate Rickie Lambert.

"If you look at the squad that we've chosen here, you see the talent and the quality of the players, their desire to step forward and do well for the country," he added.

"This will be a big test for them. I want to see how they come up to speed on that test.

"I want the result and if you ask me what would you prefer - to play badly and win or to play well and lose, I'd play badly and win."

Rooney, whose goal against Norway was his 41st for England, said: "If we get a positive result we'll give everyone a lot of confidence to go on and do well in this group."

Read more on:    england  |  switzerland  |  euro 2016  |  roy hodgson  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Do you think SAFA made the right choice in appointing Stuart Baxter as head coach of Bafana Bafana?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.