England vs Costa Rica World Cup 2014: Roy Hodgson admits England performances didn't merit ovation from fans

The England manager felt his young side were the better team

Belo Horizonte

Roy Hodgson admitted last night that England’s World Cup finals performance did not merit the warm farewell given to them by their supporters at the end of their 0-0 draw with Costa Rica.

The England squad will fly home to Manchester airport and then Luton airport today having taken just a single point in Group D, finishing bottom. They failed to breakthrough against group-winners Costa Rica yesterday despite having had a number of chances that fell to Daniel Sturridge. They were warmly applauded by their supporters at the end.

The England squad will fly home to Manchester airport and then Luton airport today having taken just a single point in Group D, finishing bottom. They failed to breakthrough against group-winners Costa Rica yesterday despite having had a number of chances that fell to Daniel Sturridge. They were warmly applauded by their supporters at the end.

Hodgson said: “You feel emotional because the fact is you wanted to do so well in the tournament, to get out of the group. We weren't alone in wanting that and not succeeding in doing it. But we've done all that for the last two or three days, talking about how disappointed and sad we are. Those two games were quite close games and went against us so we came here with nothing to play for.

“But I don't think any fair minded person would suggest the team didn't show the right spirit or commitment. We didn't show we had nothing to play for, and our fans appreciated that. They gave us an ovation that, obviously, our results didn't merit.”

“We wanted so much more. I thought, from a personal point of view, there were a lot of positives to take out of the game with young players getting their first taste of World Cup football which will serve them in good stead going forward, and the reaction of the fans. They were quite brilliant. We are so sad and disappointed for them because we know what they're going through. We are very grateful for the emotional moment at the end where they showed their support.”

 

 

The England manager said that his team had dominated the game. “Apart from first the 10 to 12 minutes we dominated totally. We didn't take our goal chances - if we did we would have comfortably won. We created the chances and that's important.

"I'm not concerned about Daniel Sturridge, he'll take goal chances in the future. I thought we were really unlucky not to win this game. I thought the whole back four was absolutely excellent. We restricted the team to almost no chances. In midfield we dominated and outplayed them."

 

Asked whether he had been impressed by Ross Barkley, Hodgson said: “I think he's not alone. That very young back four against a Costa Rican team who had topped the group and beaten Italy and Uruguay, that young back four dealt with the situation very well. If you look past the first 15-20 minutes when Costa Rica started very well, we dealt with them very well.

“The midfielders, the young ones, showed they want to do the right thing, want to get on the front foot and be positive, and want to make things happen. That's a very good thing. You accept they lose the ball sometimes or don't find the right pass, but at 18, 19, 20 we can't give them what Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard have got. We can only give them the opportunity to play and hope they get there.”

Jack Wilshere said: "We are professionals, we had to play for a bit of pride and show we really do love playing for the country. We showed great character to deal with the heat and not let our heads go down. We were nervous in the first half, it was important to get the ball down and the last 25 minutes of the first half we dominated. We created a few chances and we are just happy we didn't lose all three of our games. You saw through this tournament we have some good young players.”

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