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Walcott welcomes England options

Theo Walcott downplayed his personal contribution despite coming off the bench to score the equaliser and set up the winner in England's thrilling victory against Sweden.

England's Theo Walcott made a huge impact when he came on
England's Theo Walcott made a huge impact when he came on ©UEFA.com

Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck both pointed to the depth in England's squad as the decisive factor after Roy Hodgson's team finally saw off Sweden in Kyiv. With England trailing 2-1, Walcott came off the bench and levelled within three minutes with his first goal for his country since September 2008 before setting up Welbeck's decisive 78th-minute effort, the match winner suggesting the victory owed a debt to team spirit.

Theo Walcott, England forward
I wouldn't say I was a game changer; it's always nice to come off the bench and show what you can do. I was disappointed not to be starting but I've been working hard. It is not just about the starting lineup. It's a whole squad thing. We are a family, all together, and it's a great result. I was sharp warming up and you need to be sharp on the pitch because at this level it is really, really tough.

It was always going to be [a high-tempo game]. There are a lot of Premier League players in that Swedish team as well. We felt from the first game [against France] that we wanted to pick it up a bit more offensively, and if you score three goals that's the main thing.

It means a lot to the fans who have travelled out here, but to make my first appearance in a high-profile arena means so much to me. I have been a long time waiting and hopefully there will be more to come from me.

Danny Welbeck, England forward
To get the winning goal, I'm really delighted with that. It's my first goal in a major tournament, so I'm just looking to start there and improve. Once Theo gets the ball in those positions he's deadly, he's going to obviously try and get a shot off or get the ball across the box, so I just set myself and once it came to me I knew what I was doing.

Theo made a massive difference once he got on the pitch. He obviously got the [second] goal and set up the winner. We know the qualities he's got; that's spread out right across the squad so whoever comes on we know they're going to make a difference.

We were obviously disappointed with the start of the second half, but I'm happy with the finish and to get the three points. We're disappointed to let two goals in. It was a game of two halves and we came back well. When we went behind we still had the belief there and we stuck together, and the team spirit showed through.

We will get back to Poland, sit down and get our recovery done then turn our attention to Ukraine. We will sit down, get the analysis all sorted then go from there – and try and get the three points. Once we get to that game we'll be looking to win.

Ashley Young, England midfielder
We knew it was going to be a tough game and I think in the second half they were always going to come out and want to get goals and they did that. We showed great team spirit to get back into the game and go on and then get the winner. It was fantastic and a great team performance all round.

The two boys up front got on the scoresheet and Theo came on and made a great impact, scoring the goal and then setting up the winner. We've got players that can do that and we've got a great squad and there's competition for places. It's always nice to know that people can come off the bench and take over.

We haven't even talked about the Ukraine game yet. Obviously we want to concentrate on tonight's game and we're delighted with the win and the three points. We deserved it in the end and we'll look at the next game when it comes along.