Hodgson defends England performance

England manager Roy Hodgson has defended the performance of his side after they edged to a 1-0 friendly victory over Norway on Wednesday evening, the Guardian has reported.

The Scandinavians, who came into the game with only one win in their previous 12 matches, defended deeply for most of the first half and frustrated England as a result, and there were no shots on target before the break.

Norway then began the second period on top and forced a fine save from Joe Hart, only for England to win the game thanks to a penalty from new captain Wayne Rooney. The 28-year-old powered the ball home for his 41st England goal after Raheem Sterling was brought down.

The game was played out at a sparsely populated Wembley Stadium, as a warm-up to Monday’s opening Euro 2016 qualifier in Switzerland, and after the game Hodgson said: “I thought the performance was quite good. I was pleased with the first half, when we probed well and had good movement.

‘I was disappointed with the start of the second half when we didn’t do anything like as well for the first 15 minutes, but then we changed things, changed the formation slightly, and finished the game strongly. Yes, I was happy with Danny Welbeck and he was very lively when he came on.

‘And when Sterling moved into the centre he showed the full range of his dribbling ability, so it’s nice to know we have these options and won’t be totally restricted to one way of playing.”

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