England 3 Peru 0: Hodgson praises fans for 'perfect' World Cup send-off


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The Independent Football

Roy Hodgson said on Friday night that his England squad had enjoyed the “perfect” send-off after they beat Peru 3-0 at Wembley, their final game on home soil before they fly to Miami on Saturday for their last training camp ahead of the World Cup finals in Brazil next month.

There was an accomplished first half goal from Daniel Sturridge that broke the deadlock and two from Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka in the second half saw England past a limited Peru team who fielded many of their younger players in the absence of injured or unavailable senior members of the squad.

Hodgson said: “It was a wonderful send off to the World Cup by a quite incredible crowd. We had to be patient but we were dominant throughout. It is the perfect end to a perfect two weeks. I am delighted that 85,000 fans came here to wish us well on our way. When you play against teams with 10 men behind the ball you have to be patient but I had no doubt we would win. They would tire and 3-0 is the minimal acceptable achievement. It was also good for some of the young players to get out here at Wembley.”

The England manager said that Wayne Rooney would come good after the England striker played his first game since 26 April, completing 66 minutes of the game behind Sturridge, the main striker. Hodgson refuses to accept the theory, largely expounded by Sir Alex Ferguson, that Rooney needs a run of games to return to full sharpness.

“I don't have to accept those valuations … we think we know where he [Rooney] is, how his fitness is being maintained or progressing. We took him and Steven Gerrard off [last night], important members of our squad, and 3-0 seemed an opportunity to give younger ones a go. I don't have any fears in that respect. His attitude and commitment are first-class, even in a game of this nature. He has two more weeks to keep that going.”

Sturridge said: "It was difficult because Peru defended well, they were very compact. We have worked very hard in the week and there wasn't the match sharpness as we would have liked. It was a hard week in training. Definitely, [it was my best England goal] but it's not about myself, it's about the team. It's about great preparations, putting in shift tactically, and technically to achieve everything possible. We don't want to make the numbers up, we are winners. That doesn't mean we will the World Cup but we are winners and we will do our best."