Roy Hodgson spoke of "a job well done" but also his relief after a thrilling 3-2 defeat of Sweden that left Erik Hamrén's side eliminated and the coach bemoaning some "strange goals".
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After the thrilling 3-2 win that left England within a point of progression from UEFA EURO 2012 Group D, manager Roy Hodgson spoke of a "job well done". Danny Welbeck's clever flick from a cross by the substitute who had also equalised, Theo Walcott, decided the game and eliminated Sweden, leaving coach Erik Hamrén proud of his team but bemoaning a lack of luck.
Erik Hamrén, Sweden coach
I'm really disappointed. So far we have played two really good halves, one OK half, and one bad one, and we're here with zero points. It was a good game, we played well and I'm really proud of the players, we showed the mentality, the attitude I wanted to see. And we had the courage to play our way.
But to win games you need also a little bit of luck. I thought it was our game when we had luck with our first goal. But in these two games we didn't have that extra strength you need. The difference between England and us, they were more effective than us and that's why they won the game, but I feel really bad for the players. We have a saying in Swedish, 'The operation was really good but the patient died'. That's how I feel today.
We need to look at how the goals happened. The first goal we need to give credit to England with [Andy] Carroll's header, it was mistakes in communication and positioning but we know his strength. The second goal I don't know what to say. I think [Walcott's shot] touched Sebastian Larsson and changed direction, it came really fast like the equaliser from Ukraine; we had England where we wanted them. [Welbeck] could play his whole life without another goal like that.
Today, we really performed well and there were several strange goals. Sometimes the opposition is really good and sometimes you do things your own way.
I haven't even thought about the last game [against France]. We are really disappointed at the moment and you have to accept that and be allowed to feel a little sorry for what you have done so far. It's going to be at least 24 hours before we think about the next game.
Roy Hodgson, England manager
The feeling is one of a job well done. At this level of football, where the games are always so close, when the final whistle blows and you've got the three points there's an element of relief as well.
But I don't think we needed to feel relief in terms that we didn't deserve the victory or that we didn't control the game for long periods, or that we didn't deserve to win it. At the same time when there's only one goal in it you're always worried that something's going to happen in the last minute, that somebody's going to slip over or that the referee is going to get a decision wrong, or that there'll be a deflection. When that doesn't happen there's always an element of relief.
[The winner] was a good move. We got in behind their left-back with a good pass, Theo was able to skip away from him and found a lot of composure to find Danny, who timed his run to the near post and had a good pirouette. The goalkeeper expected him to toe it but he was able to pirouette and beat him at the far post.
Of course I believed in Theo, I think he's a good player with good qualities, that's why I selected him. I'd be lying if I said I know these players as well as [the English media] do, you have watched them many times. I have worked with them for one month and am still learning what they are really good at and what areas we can improve upon.
I am delighted to be going into the last game knowing a positive result will see us through and if we do that I will be more than satisfied because it was a very difficult group. There are no easy pickings for us in the group and our goal is to make sure we don't slip from the standard we have set in the four games since I took the job. Maybe [Wayne] Rooney's presence will take the pressure off the existing players because he can change a game off his own bat.