Hodgson worries about 'fatigue factor'
New manager concerned by tiredness and injury to Barry after unconvincing victory over Norway
England defeated Norway for the first time in 32 years last night with an early goal by Ashley Young, but turned in a performance defined by determination rather than any flair.
After Young's well-taken effort, when put through by Andy Carroll, they played largely on the counter-attack against a toothless Norway side. There was a late injury scare to add to Roy Hodgson's problems when Gareth Barry, a second-half substitute for Steven Gerrard, limped off with a groin strain which will require a scan today. Glen Johnson and Danny Welbeck already face a test of their fitness tomorrow before Tuesday's deadline for naming European Championship squads.
"I'm not prepared to say it's serious but it'll demand our attention and we don't have a lot of time," Hodgson said of Barry's problem after his first match as England's 13th full-time manager. It was not the most exciting start and he admitted England will need to improve in an attacking sense, even if he was justifiably pleased with them defensively.
"I thought we showed a lot of discipline and worked very hard," Hodgson said. "We weren't as good going forward as we hope to be and the fatigue factor played a part. But I'm not prepared to be critical of the team or our play."
Some of the 2,000 England fans, who had been forced to pay a minimum of £65 for their tickets, sounded as though they were not overly impressed with the experience or the performance. They chanted "Norway's expensive/I want to go home" and marked Eurovision Song Contest night with a rendition of Englebert Humperdink's 'Please Release Me'.
Hodgson has been in the job only 26 days, as opposed to the veteran Norway manager Egil Olsen, who has taken them into the top two dozen of Fifa's world rankings.
There were late debuts as for Arsenal's 18-year-old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and the Liverpool right back Martin Kelly.
Latest in Sport
Manchester United pre-season tour 2015: Louis van Gaal wins battle to relocate friendly - 60,000 refunded to save on 90-mile trip
Wojciech Szczesny was 'lied to' by Arsene Wenger over future after £11m transfer of Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech
England vs Japan - Women's World Cup semi-final: what time does it start and what channel is it on?
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Manchester United transfer news: Javier Hernandez nears exit as Liverpool eye move for forward despite revealing Real Madrid video
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 David Cameron refers to 83-year-old Labour MP Dennis Skinner as 'Jurassic Park'
- 3 Alton Towers Air breaks down: 80 people stuck on broken down Monorail during heatwave
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Alwaleed bin Talal: Saudi Prince to donate entire $32bn fortune to charity