England manager Roy Hodgson defended his squad in quite fierce fashion, and says he was right to lose his temper after their victory over Norway on Wednesday.
A half-full Wembley saw the Three Lions beat the visitors 1-0 with only two shots on target, and right after the match saw Hodgson irritated in his post-match press conference.
And he didn’t have any mood to back down when asked about his response in a press briefing later.
“I am entitled to be unhappy when I get questions about only having two shots on target,” the England manager said.
“There was a lot of euphoria before the World Cup. We were getting 75,000 people to see us play Peru, who, with respect, were nowhere near as difficult an opponent as Norway. And now we have 40,000.”
“I can’t put that right because I can’t turn the clock back, but what I can do is analyse what I have seen and judge that through my eyes, and not judge it because someone is going to tell me: ‘Well, you only had two shots at goal’.”
Hodgson went on to describe that verdict with strong words, before backing his young guns to emerge as star internationals in the future.
He said: “Some of these players are top-class players in the making, but the players are in the making: you can’t play five or six games for England and be a regular at Liverpool for six or seven months and then be David Beckham.”
“You can’t be Phil Jones with all the injuries he has had and nail down a place in the Manchester United first team and then become John Terry.”
“You can’t be Jack Wilshere, who has lost all that football through injury and then all of a sudden be Bryan Robson. Let’s be fair on all of these things. That’s all I am asking.”
“Allow me to be excited about what they can do and allow me to stand up and say I think my team played well at a press conference when I think they have.”
As John Stones started the game at right-back in another unconvincing display by England, Hodgson does not think starting the 20-year-old is a risk.
“Playing him would not be a gamble at all,” Hodgson said.
“His defensive performance was very good (against Norway) but we are not going to get as much out of him going forward as you would out of Kyle Walker, who is an attacking right-back, but he did bring his straw to the water.”