Switzerland vs England: Danny Welbeck gets England smiling after 'perfect start' helps England banish World Cup memories

Striker's brace saw England record an impressive win in Basel as they kicked their 2016 European Championship qualifying campaign off with a win

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The Independent Online

England's win in Switzerland was the "perfect start" to their European Championship qualifying campaign and one which Danny Welbeck is confident they can build on.

A miserable display at the World Cup has made the last few months difficult for all those associated with the national team.

It has led to apathy and some anger, although the mood was lifted somewhat on Monday night by a morale-boosting win against Switzerland.

Welbeck's second-half strikes proved the difference as Roy Hodgson's side ran out 2-0 victors in Basle, confounding the critics with a fine display in their most daunting Group E fixture.

 

"I think the whole team is smiling," Welbeck said after his match-winning contribution.

"It was a good performance and stuff we have been working on in training has really come off tonight and that is a pleasing factor.

"We had to soak up the pressure when we went one ahead, but we defended really well as a team and limited their chances.

"We set up our game plan a bit different because, once they were a bit more in control of the game, we had to work on the counter-attack.

"But we knew we had the players and the speed to break them down. In the dying minutes we got that second goal."

England set-up at St Jakob-Park in a 4-4-2 diamond formation, with Welbeck leading the line alongside Wayne Rooney.

The 23-year-old has made no secret of his preference to play as striker and hopes to get more chances to do so with the national team as well as new club Arsenal.

"I enjoy playing further up the pitch," Welbeck said. "That's well known and when I get my opportunity I am just looking to take it.

"Thankfully today I got the two goals, but it is credit to the whole team really with the way we played, the way we attacked.

"It was the perfect start to the qualifiers, but we need to carry this on now and make sure we prepare for every single game tactically and mentally."

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Welbeck puts England one up against Switzerland

The victory means England will reconvene for next month's double header against San Marino and Estonia with renewed confidence.

That positivity may also well rub off the fans, who turned up in force at St Jakob-Park just days after Wembley recorded its lowest ever international attendance since being rebuilt for the friendly against Norway.

"Credit to the fans for making the journey," Welbeck said.

"It is a difficult one because at the World Cup we didn't do as well as many people expected to do, but we have got great fans.

"They followed us here, the support was amazing and thankfully we have sent them home happy."

PA

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