Ukraine 0 England 0: ‘Rooney or Sturridge could have made difference’
Ukraine 0 England 0: Roy Hodgson admits Wayne Rooney or Daniel Sturridge could have made the difference in Kiev after draw
Roy Hodgson expressed his satisfaction at the result after watching England play out a goalless draw in Ukraine – but said the Three Lions could have snatched a win if his top strikers were available.
Hodgson’s men now have their fate in their own hands and know that victory in their final two Wembley qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland will guarantee their place at next summer’s World Cup.
England failed to break down a stubborn Ukraine defence in what was a stop-start match in Kiev, with Frank Lampard coming close to netting a late winner on the night he earned his 100th cap.
But Hodgson feels his side were significantly hampered by the absences of Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge, who were forced to pull out of the squad due to injuries, as Southampton’s Rickie Lambert was deployed up front.
“I think it was probably a fair result,” Hodgson told ITV1. “I thought we did very well, especially in the first when we had clear control of the game and could have won it right in the last minute with Frank’s header.
“It was a big test and we’ve lost seven players from the original squad. A lot of players have come into the squad this time who aren’t normally there and who aren’t used to this level of performance and pressure.
“So I think should be more-than-satisfied with the [4-0] result against Moldova and the result here. Especially because we gained the result without riding our luck in any way – we gained it because we very good defensively.
“And had we shown a little more composure in the final third or had someone like a Rooney or Sturridge available, who knows, we might have even got the goal we needed.”
The England boss continued: “I don’t think we were that adventurous but on the other hand it was for them to be adventurous, not us.
“We had to make certain we controlled them and I thought in the first half there were quite a few interesting situations in the final third and even towards the end of the game.
“But perhaps we didn’t have the quality needed to make that count.”
England next take on Montenegro at Wembley on 11 October, before hosting Poland four days later.