Ukraine 0-0 England: Gary Lineker blasted by Roy Hodgson as England edge closer to Rio

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Roy Hodgson came out fighting after Gary Lineker savaged England’s performance, writes John Cross in Kiev.

insisted his sideproduced a “remarkable” display to grab a precious point – and dismissed the BBC pundit’s Twitter jibes.

Linekerbranded England “awful” and tweeted sarcastically: “Good resultfor England… Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina et al, you’re in big trouble!”

Buta bullish Hodgson claimed the Match of the Day presenter was out of order, with England now assured of a place in Brazil 2014 if they win their final two home games against Poland and Montenegro. When asked turn about Lineker’s stinging criticism, Hodgson said: “I don’t think that is a fair comment on our performance.

“Ifthe expectations upon us are so great we come to places like Ukraine and expect to roll teams over, it will be difficult for us to ever get agood result.

 

“I will stick to my ignorance. I think it is a good result. I am surprised that has not been the reaction back at home.

“Beforecoming here, the feeling amongst you people was that a draw would have been a good result. I am surprised to hear people say – what I thought was a good performance – has become yet again underwhelming.”

 

Hodgson’swar of words with Lineker follows the pundit’s criticism of England’s display in a 1-1 draw against Ireland in May, when he said they had “gone back to the dark ages”.

Lastnight England rarely looked like scoring and were left hanging on with Chelsea duo Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole both outstanding in a resolute rearguard action.

Hodgson was anxious to draw on the positive points and is confident England will qualify for the World Cup finals.

 

Hesaid: “Yes, I am happy. In the first half we played well and in the second half we came under more pressure but I thought the back four stood very firm.

“Todayour options attacking-wise were limited as three of our top strikers were not available. But I thought the players who took their place did aremarkable job.

“Weknew with 70,000 people and the Ukraine team in good form after recent results, it would not be easy and I am pleased with the way we dealt with it.”

Englandcaptain Steven Gerrard added: “I don’t think it was a top-classperformance but defensively we were solid and the result never looked in doubt.

“I think before the game the message from the manager to us was: ‘Let’s keep it in our hands’.”

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