Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Euro 2012 Wrap Up Group D: England win the group

June 20, 2012 by  
Filed under 2012 UEFA Euro

Roy Hodgson, England manager
All we seem to do is talk about expectations. It’s more important to talk about how the team has conducted itself in the tournament. It’s been a really good tournament for us and we’ve enjoyed every minute of it. The fans who’ve followed us around have always found themselves in a big minority. They’ve made a fantastic effort to support us, as have the people back home. So, for us, it’s not really a question of expectations. We just want to keep going, enjoy this tournament as long as we can, play as well as we can and who knows where it will take us?

We’re very pleased to have won the group. I don’t think it was an easy group to win because, as you saw tonight, the host nation, Ukraine, have a lot of good players and they did what they needed to do to put us under pressure. France lost for the first time in [24] matches and Sweden are the team that actually ended France’s run.

[Rooney’s] got character, hasn’t he? You know what Rooney is, you know what Rooney can do. You know his qualities, and once again tonight he showed them in abundance. He put in an extremely disciplined performance. I thought he and [Danny] Welbeck worked extremely hard and, of course, although I’ve played this down to some extent, it is a while since he played a competitive match, so he’s got to be happy with how it went. We think every day helps him and helps us. And the fact he’s had 80 minutes in this game will help him feel he can go into the next game with more confidence.

Laurent Blanc, France coach
We were prepared for a tough game. Did we think it was going be as difficult as it was going turned out be? No we didn’t expect that. We were weak in certain areas of the pitch, too weak in the tackle. Sweden put everything into the game, they were better prepared physically and they have a player [Zlatan Ibrahimović] who can make the difference – a lot of factors that meant we couldn’t win. We are very disappointed. We struggled throughout the game but we did cause problems for Sweden, it was a very open game. You might have thought it was two sides trying to qualify but only one side went out and won, and that was Sweden.

I don’t think we struggled going forward, we struggled at the back and in midfield. Sweden had a big physical impact. We hoped in the second half their intensity would drop but that wasn’t the case. We conceded a lot of space but we also created a lot of chances so we could have had a 1-1, a 2-1 or even a 2-2.

I think you always have to be optimistic. Of course we are disappointed with the result, we wanted a different result. We are disappointed of course, but the most important thing is we qualified for the quarter-finals. Even though Sweden played well, they are going home tomorrow. We need to stay optimistic, we didn’t make thing easy for ourselves. It is not the easiest thing to play Spain at the moment, we have to be rested and need a really good performance to beat them. Be we are going to focus and are going to fight. Tomorrow will be more optimistic than tonight and I hope by Saturday we will be at a higher level.

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