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Sunday 22 April 2018

Disappointed Hodgson admits England lacked quality in defeat

Germany's goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller (R) and Per Mertesacker. Picture credit: REUTERS/Eddie Keogh
Germany's goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller (R) and Per Mertesacker. Picture credit: REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

ROY HODGSON admitted England lacked quality after seeing his side booed off the Wembley pitch for the second time in five days after slumping to two successive home defeats for the first time in 36 years.

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker scored the only goal of the game for Germany with a powerful header in the first half to consign England to a 1-0 defeat following the 2-0 loss to Chile on Friday.

If England goalkeeper Joe Hart had not pulled off a string of saves, including one double save in the first half, then England's defeat could have been even more demoralising.

Hodgson said: "I'm disappointed, it's not nice to lose, especially a second game at home. One can't be in any way satisfied. I'm not disappointed with the effort the players put in, the work rate and their application.

"I don't think there were stages of the game where we were being particularly outplayed and in long periods it was an even game.

"But where the Germans were clearly better than us was in their passing and in their finishing around the final third. We let ourselves down in that area.

"The major disappointment is two-fold: we didn't show the quality I was hoping we would show."

The boos rang out at the final whistle after a performance in which England failed to fire a single shot on target, although Tottenham's Andros Townsend did hit the post with a left-footed strike in the second half.

Hodgson said: "It's always disappointing to get boos, but there aren't many games where the home side don't get the result and then don't boo.

"We don't want that. We want the applause we had after the Montenegro and Poland games.

"But to get the applause, that level of acclaim, we're going to have to play better and win matches. We didn't play well enough tonight, didn't win, and sent 85,000 people home disappointed."

England captain Steven Gerrard, who missed last week's training, was substituted after 55 minutes after "stiffening up" and Ashley Cole also came off with a recurrence of a rib injury.

Hodgson was prickly when it was suggested the German team was a second-string line-up missing half a dozen first-team regulars.

Hodgson said: "It would be unfair to suggest that was a weak German team. I thought the teams were equally matched. They had players missing and we had players missing. I learned a lot from the game."

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