ROY HODGSON WAS satisfied with England’s 1-0 international friendly win over Norway on Saturday, despite an underwhelming performance.
England took the initiative and netted the only goal of the game inside the first 30 minutes at the Ullevaal Stadion.
They proved unable to add to their tally and gave up control of proceedings to their hosts throughout the second half.
Nevertheless, Hodgson believes there is plenty more to come from his team and believes the victory in Oslo is something to be proud of.
“It was a great start for us because we know how difficult it is to win here in Norway,” he told ITV Sport.
“And of course we’ve had three tough days with training and I’ve been concerned about the fatigue factor.
“As you saw towards the end one or two players were feeling their muscles but that’s because we’ve worked so hard in training. Everyone’s been doing such a lot to impress me that I think we left a bit on the training field.
‘It was a marvellous start to my career as the national team coach because it’s not often that Norway lose at home and it’s a long while that we’ve beaten (them) here so it’s nice to get the result.”
Manchester United forward Ashley Young scored the winning goal in the ninth minute of the match, and Hodgson was pleased with his performance alongside Liverpool striker Andy Carroll.
“Well I think he and Carroll proved they could do the job,” Hodgson said. ”I thought both of them were very good.
“I thought at times we could have been a bit more positive, you know, there’s an element of keeping the ball sometimes when we maybe could get it forwards a little bit earlier and get those two players in.
“But that’s what we’ve got to work on – we’ve started talking about it and sowing a few seeds but hopefully by the time the European Championships come around we’ll have done a lot more and be getting Ashley Young into positions more often like we got him in for the goal.”
The former West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool manager refused to be drawn on who he was planning to field in attack for England’s Euro 2012 opener against France next month.
“Well, we’ll see,” he said.
“Of course, I’m not prepared to say what the partnership is at this moment.
“We know it won’t be Wayne Rooney. We don’t know how Danny Welbeck is going to be coming on. We’ve still got Jermain Defoe.
“So in actual fact I think I’m in a comfortable position and even a guy like Theo Walcott can quite easily play in that position.”
Hodgson also expressed concern over Gareth Barry who appeared to pick up an injury which could end his involvment in the tournament, having lasted only 30 minutes after replacing Gerrard.
Scott Parker was also forced off due to the Achilles problem which had threatened his place at the tournament in Ukraine and Poland, but Hodgson expects the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder to be fit.
“Well I think Scott (Parker)’s been okay, we wanted to give him a bit longer than 45 minutes to test him out to see if he was going to get a reaction,” Hodgson said.
“At the moment there’s no reaction, we’ll find out maybe tomorrow.
“Gareth Barry worries me more, because he did feel his groin so we’ll have to get that scanned.