Football: `I'm delighted with the start'

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The Independent Online
GLENN HODDLE, the England coach, was pleased with his team's debut in the World Cup. "It's been a long time waiting for the tournament to come round and we've stamped our authority on it," he said. "I'm delighted with the start we've made. We could have won by more goals, but I'm pleased with the performance and the result. We were solid as a side right the way through and I was delighted that we limited their chances and created a lot ourselves."

Of the goalscorers, Alan Shearer and Paul Scholes, Hoddle said: "Alan's reputation goes before him. He had a limited number of chances today but scored a goal out of nothing and that's what a world-class striker can do. Paul Scholes looked at home out there and that was good to see. I felt he and Sol Campbell put in tremendous performances and Paul's finish was world class. He's a good lad, he'll keep his feet on the ground and I don't think he'll get carried away with the performance."

Asked why he had selected Darren Anderton ahead of David Beckham in the right wing back position, Hoddle said: "I'm not here to discuss who did play and who didn't. We played well and I was very pleased with Darren Anderton's performance."

As for the trouble that marred the build up to the game, he added: "I don't know the facts, but there was no trouble inside the ground. The support that people gave us was magnificent."

Shearer was asked if he had enjoyed scoring his first goal in the World Cup finals. "Couldn't you tell?" he replied. "It takes a bit of pressure off me now. There's high expectation of me, everyone's saying I'll score the goals to shoot England to victory. I've got one in now, so it should keep people quiet for a game at least.

"Paul deserved his goal," Shearer added. "If you can call it a chance it was his most difficult. He's a tremendous little player, nothing phases him, he doesn't get uptight or nervous about anything and he scored a tremendous goal. If he needed to prove anything then he's done it today because people were going to look for him to take over Paul Gascoigne's role and he's done that and come out with flying colours."

Shearer received a buffeting from the Tunisian defenders but said: "I was expecting that but I was given protection because 99 per cent of the time the referee gave me the free kick. I know I'm going to get man-marked because of who I am and it's up to me to try and combat that."

Scholes was understandably delighted with his goal. "It's the best feeling in my life so far," he said. "It was a great ball from Incey and originally I was going to play a one-two with him, but I just hit it and thankfully it's gone in. I had two chances in the first half and I should have scored both of them, but in the end I was just glad to get one. I've got to try and keep my place now and hopefully keep scoring goals."

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