Norway 0 England 1: Hodgson delighted with ‘marvellous’ win
Roy Hodgson describes England's victory in Norway as a "marvellous" start to his reign as manager of the national side
Roy Hodgson heaped praise on his England side after Ashley Young scored a first half winner to ensure the new manager made a “marvellous start” to his reign with a narrow victory over Norway in Oslo on Saturday night.
Young impressed in the opening period, combining well with Liverpool duo Andy Carroll and Steven Gerrard, and the Manchester United midfielder scored his fourth successive England goal, with an electric run and composed finish in the tenth minute.
The 26-year-old’s sixth goal for the national side proved the decisive strike, and Hodgson’s men adopted a more defensive approach after the interval, looking to contain their opponents and add a second on the counter-attack.
It was England’s first win in Norway since 1966, and Hodgson was delighted to start his spell as the national side’s head coach with a victory.
“It was a great start for us,” Hodgson told ITV. “We know how difficult it is to win in Norway.
“We’ve had three tough days in training and I was a bit concerned about the fatigue factor, as you saw towards the end of the game, one or two players were feeling their muscles.
“But that’s because we’ve been working so hard in training, and everyone’s being do so much to impress me, we’ve left a bit on the training field.
“But it was a marvellous to start my career as the national team coach because it is not often that Norway lose at home, and it’s a long while since we’ve won here.”
The former Fulham manager was particularly pleased with the link-up play between Liverpool striker Carroll and goal scorer Young in the opening half, and believes it is a partnership which can flourish heading into the European championship.
“I thought Young and Carroll proved they can do that job [up front]. They were very good.
“At times we should have been a little bit more positive, keeping the ball sometimes when we could have played it forward a little earlier and get those two players in.
“But that’s something we’ve got to work on. We’ve started talking about it and sowing a few seeds.
“I hope by the time Euro 2012 comes around, we’ll have done a lot more work and getting Young into positions more often like the one we got him into for the goal.”