Roy Hodgson: England boss defends post-match anger

By Phil McNultyChief football writer
Hodgson annoyed by two shot statistic
Uefa Euro 2016 Group E qualifier: Switzerland v England
Venue: St Jakob-Park, Basel Date: Monday, 8 September
Coverage: Live text commentary on BBC Sport website and app; full commentary on BBC Radio 5 live

England boss Roy Hodgson has defended his angry response to criticism of his team's performance against Norway.

Hodgson reacted furiously when told England only had two shots on target, including Wayne Rooney's successful penalty, in the 1-0 win at Wembley.

Asked about his prickly demeanour, he said: "Listen, I am entitled to aren't I? When you have questions like 'You only had two shots on target...'"

England next face Switzerland in a Euro 2016 qualifier in Basel on Monday.

Hodgson, 67, had been in combative mood after the friendly in front of only 40,181 fans, defending the performance of his players.

He used two expletives when dismissing the statistic that England only had two shots on target.

England's Euro 2016 qualifiers
Switzerland (a) 8 September 2014; (h) 8 September 2015
San Marino (h) 9 October 2014; (a) 5 September 2015
Estonia (a) 12 October 2014; (h) 9 October 2015
Slovenia (h) 15 November 2014; (a) 14 June 2015
Lithuania (h) 27 March 2015; (a) 12 October 2015

"Don't give me that one, I mean, two shots on target?" said Hodgson. "What about all the shots that they threw themselves in the way of in the first half? Don't hit me with statistics - you use them if you like.

"You have just seen an England team dominate for 45 minutes against a good opponent, an opponent that's hard to beat, and you have seen them work very hard to create chances.

"I would have liked to have seen Daniel Sturridge's magnificent effort from that wonderful pass that played him in from Raheem Sterling not land on the roof of the net, but the fact is that is what you have to accept as a football manager."

BBC Sport chief football writer Phil McNulty
"England manager Roy Hodgson's colourful and angry reaction to being reminded that they only had two shots on target against Norway was a surprise show of frustration and completely out of proportion."Hodgson has been a calm figure for much of his England reign and has received a relatively comfortable ride - with a fair measure of understanding - given the abject failure at the World Cup."The emotional response may have been a combination of a residue of lingering disappointment after the exit in Brazil and also an awareness that pressure is now right on him as the Euro 2016 qualifiers begin, despite a favourable group."Hodgson will also know that the reviews will inevitably not be so kind - especially for him - if England slip up in Switzerland on Monday night."

But the England boss acknowledged that his team will not be able to easily shake off the baggage from the World Cup, when they failed to qualify from a group that also contained Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica.

"All I am saying is I want to judge every game as it is," he said.

"We can't get rid of the baggage. We can't change the fact that we have had a bad World Cup. We can't play those games against Italy and Uruguay again, but I think you will have to give me the entitlement at least.

Swiss watch
Switzerland reached the last 16 of this summer's World Cup in Brazil.The Swiss last qualified for the European Championship in 2008 - as co-hosts.
They were denied a place in the quarter-finals by £60m Manchester United midfielder Angel Di Maria's extra-time winner for Argentina.England boss Roy Hodgson managed Switzerland at the 1994 World Cup.

"If a lot of players had had really poor performances, if the quality of our passing, our movement, was nothing like I wanted to see, if our defending wasn't as compact, aggressive and organised as it was for large periods of games, I would be the first to say so - but I am not going to say it's not that just because we had a bad World Cup. That's what it is. It's as simple as that."

And he said results at the World Cup - losing to Italy and Uruguay and drawing with Costa Rica - were a factor in the low crowd.

"The bottom line is this - before the World Cup with the euphoria, we are getting 75,000 people to see us play Peru, who, with respect, were nowhere near as difficult an opponent as we have played in Norway," continued the England boss.

"And now we have 40,000 to see us play against a much more difficult opponent. I can't put that right because I can't turn the clock back, but what I can do is analyse what I have seen and judge that through my eyes and not judge it because someone is going to tell me you know, 'well, you only had two shots at goal' - because for me, that is not right."