Hodgson mounts defence of England tactics

Rio De Janeiro: England manager Roy Hodgson says he has no regrets about his team selection at the World Cup despite his side being eliminated after back-to-back defeats by Italy and Uruguay.

Former England striker Gary Lineker has asserted that Hodgson "got it wrong" by opting for a 4-2-3-1 formation that saw Liverpool team-mates Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson aligned in central midfield.

Lineker felt that England were outnumbered in midfield as a result and said that Hodgson`s side would have been better served by a 4-3-3 system, but the manager stood by his tactical choices.
"In the first game (against Italy) we played with Raheem Sterling in behind Daniel Sturridge and he was quite often in a fairly deep position around Andrea Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi," Hodgson said.

"In the second game we had Wayne Rooney doing a similar job. So if you suggest having more in midfield means one behind a four (4-1-4-1), that`s an opinion, but I don`t think it would have made a big difference.

"I didn`t get the impression we were overrun in midfield in either game. But the teams were more clinical, their finishing was better than ours, and they took their chances.

"If we win, people will say that`s good and we like what you did. If we don`t, people will find things to pick holes in."

Hodgson admitted that the blow of falling at the first hurdle had been hard to take but said he was determined to boost morale in the camp.

"Certainly I haven`t been moping around, staring at the wall," he said when asked how he had spent his time since England`s 2-1 loss to Uruguay on Thursday.

"I had a bad night and a bad day following the game. But my job leading the team is to pull myself out of that and make sure the players aren`t suffering in the same way, give them some of the qualities I`ve got.

"So I`ve been working hard to make sure people do get out of it, try and find the mental, physical and emotional strength to move on."

Hodgson has twice finished on the losing side in European club finals -- with Inter Milan in the 1997 UEFA Cup and Fulham in the 2010 Europa League -- but he said that this was his lowest moment in management.

"I had two European cup final defeats. That was pretty tough," he said.

"And losing the job at Liverpool as well. I`ve had other moments. But this is England -- a job that means so much to me and so many people, a massive job. So yes, this is the worst."

However, he said that he had no intention of revisiting his decision to remain in his role until the 2016 European Championship.

"No, I shan`t change my mind. I see no reason to resign," he said.

"I feel an allegiance to the players and the staff. I think we work well together. I accept this campaign has not been good.

"I`m grateful I`ve not been made that scapegoat and that people think I can take the team forward, and that`s what I will be doing."

England play Costa Rica in their final group game on Tuesday.

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