England coach tight-lipped on choice of strikers
England manager Roy Hodgson gave few clues on Sunday (June 19) when asked about his attack for the final Group B game against Slovakia from which they need a point to qualify for the knockout stage of Euro 2016.
Harry Kane started to disappointing effect in the 1-1 draw against Russia and was then substituted at half-time against Wales with England trailing 1-0.
Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy came on to change the game, each scoring in a 2-1 win and both have been tipped to play against Slovakia on Monday (June 20).
Hodgson declined to reveal his hand but denied that Kane was feeling the effect of a long season in which he has played more than 60 games.
“Jamie and Daniel, they did very well when they came on against Wales and I’m sure they’d like another chance too so the options are there, we’ve spoken at length on many occasions about the options available, especially in those front positions and nothing changes and it’s a decision that has to be made,” Hodgson told a news conference on the eve of the match with Slovakia.
Hodgson wants to finish top of the group, not in order to play in Paris in the round of 16 near the squad’s Chantilly base, but because it would mean less demanding opposition, he said.
Captain Wayne Rooney said the aim was achievable.
“We’ve put ourselves in a position where it’s in our hands to win the group and that’s what we want to do,” he said.
Local authorities in Saint-Etienne have put in place extra security measures, including a ban on outside seating areas in the city’s bars, following fan violence in England’s opening game in Marseille.
“We hope that incidences of that kind will not occur again and that the fans who come to the game on Monday night will be able to enjoy it in the same way as the fans from both England and Wales seemed to be able to enjoy the occasion when we played last Thursday,” Hodgson said.
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