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Hodgson hails Rooney after goalscoring return

Published: Tuesday 19 June 2012, 23.59CET
"You know what Rooney is, you know what Rooney can do," said England manager Roy Hodgson after the striker fired his side through to the last eight and sent the co-hosts out.
by Chris Burke
from Donbass Arena
 
Published: Tuesday 19 June 2012, 23.59CET

Hodgson hails Rooney after goalscoring return

"You know what Rooney is, you know what Rooney can do," said England manager Roy Hodgson after the striker fired his side through to the last eight and sent the co-hosts out.

England manager Roy Hodgson was full of praise for Wayne Rooney's qualities and "disciplined performance" after the returning striker scored the winning goal against Ukraine to send his side through to the last eight. The co-hosts' coach Oleh Blokhin thanked "the whole of Ukraine and all our supporters", meanwhile, as he blamed a lack of luck for his team's elimination in Donetsk.

We just want to keep going, enjoy this tournament as long as we can, play as well as we can
Roy Hodgson
England only had a few set pieces. We had lots of shots on target, but we weren't lucky.
Oleh Blokhin

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.

Oleh Blokhin, Ukraine coach
I want to thank my team as we played a very good game. Even the coach of England said they were luckier than us. I want to thank the whole of Ukraine and all our supporters. We couldn't do what we expected, but I don't feel ashamed of this team.

First we conceded a lucky goal, and then we played a very good game. England only went forward from counterattacks. In the second half, they had no chances. We had a big advantage. England only had a few set pieces. We had lots of shots on target, but we weren't lucky. Maybe I'm not lucky for our team.

Against France, we suffered from a lack of passion, but the game today was much better; there was music in our dressing room before the game. [Andriy] Voronin chose the music – a great song about the EURO. I think that was a really good decision, but I am sorry how everything went. That's football, though: somebody loses, someone wins. This team has lots of potential. Against a team like England, to play pressing football in the 93rd minute is great. We have lots of young players, who will stay in this team.

Last updated: 25/09/14 4.46CET

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