Scottish Daily Mail

Roy’s lesson in abject failure

Hodgson admits he and his dejected squad have let England down But Hart and Baines insist manager has full backing of the players


ROY HODGSON has admitted that he and his team have ‘failed’ and let England down after losing their first two World Cup games. The England manager said he was at a very low ebb after Luis Suarez’s two goals for Uruguay had led to an early exit for Hodgson’s men.

Hodgson had repeated that he wouldn’t resign but ‘that decision is out of my hands’.

The ringing endorsemen­t from the FA last night was unlikely to ease his pain and he said: ‘ We’ve failed. We had really big hopes we were going to make the nation proud by going f ar in t he tournament and we haven’t done that. So any words are pretty empty at the moment.

‘I’m very low. So are the players. We had high hopes, we thought we could make an i mpact. But unfortunat­ely we haven’t won the games.

‘I believe the team, going forward, will be a very good team. I think there are good young players. Even against Uruguay, we saw some good individual performanc­es — and the young ones who came on, even, they did quite well.

‘But results colour everything. We played against a very tough-tackling and strong defensive Uruguayan team. I don’t think there’s any need to have any doubts this England group of players will go on to do good things in the time ahead.’ When asked whether t hat would be with him i n charge, Hodgson s ai d: ‘Well, that’s not in my hands. It’s not my decision.

‘At the moment, I’m not considerin­g that. I’m considerin­g the fact that we’ve worked so hard, done so much preparatio­n for this tournament. We think we came here well-prepared.’ When pushed on whether there are any signs of England growing, Hodgson said: ‘Maybe I’m too close to it. You see things from a different perspectiv­e. I think the team is evolving. I’m proud of the way they’ve approached this tournament and everything they put into it. I’m just devastated they got nothing out of it.’

Joe Hart l ast night claimed Hodgson has the complete backing of the England dressing room to continue in his role beyond the World Cup.

Hart said: ‘Personally, and I think I speak for all the players, we are proud to play for Roy Hodgson. He’s a great manager, he’s a very passionate man and someone that I’ve got an awful l ot of respect for and I hope to continue playing under.’

Asked if he thought the team had progressed i n two years since Hodgson took control from Fabio Capello, Hart replied: ‘ Saying yes sounds like a stupid thing to say, but I do. ‘We’ve got bags of quality, bags of people coming through, great leaders and great, experience­d players in that dressing room and we’ve just come up short in two games. And you can’t come up short in two games at the World Cup. ‘We’ve not scored enough goals and we’ve let too many i n. I’d i magine some people will say we’re simply not good enough but we don’t feel that inside the camp.

‘It’s raw. It’s hard to take but you’ve got to take it. We’re at a World Cup and, if you don’t get results, then this happens.

‘We’ve committed our l i ves to this tournament and we’ll continue to do that until the end of the group stages We’ve just not had the main s t at, which is results.’ It i s the f i rst time England have ever lost their first two games at a World Cup Finals.

Leighton Baines insisted that they are developing as a team under Hodgson and said: ‘The easiest thing to do sometimes is to be critical and, with the position we are in, you have to accept that, to a point. But t here were some positives and we will see them maybe further down the line.

‘ We are going in t he r i ght direction. There are some improvemen­ts to be made but I think we have made some positive strides. You would imagine some of the young lads are going to be around for many, many years.’

Former England legend, Stuart Pearce, however, said the defeat to Uruguay came as no surprise.

He said: ‘For me, the answer never lies at major tournament­s, it lies in the two years in between the major tournament­s and how we approach the whole system, the education of our young players, the developmen­t of our young players.

‘Five years ago, our Under-21s played Germany in the European finals. I look at their team then and the one that l i ned up against Portugal in the World Cup. Six of their players from the Under-21s carried on their progressio­n, stayed in the senior squad, and played against Portugal the other day.

‘I looked at our squad (for the Under-21 European Championsh­ip five years ago) and, out of that squad, there were no players in our starting line-up that five years ago made the same journey.

‘James Milner was in the squad and played but obviously didn’t get on the pitch (against Uruguay). Joe Hart ended up being suspended back then, so possibly you could say two.

‘Last summer, we had 17 young players missing from an Under-21 tournament? It infuriates me.

‘The worst thing you can say to me is: “In two years’ time, this team will be decent”. It won’t be unless you put the process in place that all of these players go to the Under-21 Championsh­ip next summer.

‘So Raheem Sterling goes, so Jack] Wilshere goes and Phil Jones goes — all those that are Under-21 and available.’

According to Pearce, the decision to include Southampto­n’ s 18-year-old full-back Luke Shaw in the squad ahead of Ashley Cole shows just where England are going wrong.

‘Before the tournament, I was asked who we should take, Luke Shaw or Ashley Cole,’ he added. ‘Common sense says you take Cole because Shaw goes to the Toulon tournament, plays f i ve games against the likes of Brazil and Mexico and plays in the Under-21 qualifier. .

‘I’m not sure what Shaw has learnt from this tournament, apart from Brazil is a great place to visit. I am not being facetious here.

‘If you asked me, from a purely footballin­g point of view, I would say five games in Toulon would be a lot more beneficial than not kicking a ball in Brazil.’

 ??  ?? SORE ONE TO TAKE Suarez consoles club mate Gerrard and rival Rooney after Uruguay’s 2-1 victory
SORE ONE TO TAKE Suarez consoles club mate Gerrard and rival Rooney after Uruguay’s 2-1 victory
 ??  ?? Down and out Hodgson’s time in Brazil has left him at low ebb
Down and out Hodgson’s time in Brazil has left him at low ebb

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