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Published: 09:01 | 21/6/16

Hodgson defends team selection


England manager Roy Hodgson has defended his decision to rest a number of his star players for Monday's Group B clash with Slovakia.

Hodgson made six changes from the team that defeated Wales with Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Dele Alli all named on the bench and it was to prove costly as they were unable to find a way through the Slovakian defence.

The 0-0 draw coupled with Wales' 3-0 defeat of Russia means England are facing a possible last-16 clash with Portugal with France their likely quarter-final opponents.

"We're not doomed yet," Hodgson said. "We can't do much more, we dominated the game from start to finish, we had so many chances and one day we will put them away. I can't fault the effort and work of the players.

"It has been attack versus defence in all three games and I never thought I'd see England dominate three games like we have done.

"We will be criticised for not taking chances, I can't deny that, but I think the time will come when we will take those goal chances, and some team will be on the end of that fairly soon.

"But we'll wait and see; we're in the knockout phase which is where we wanted to be."

While he tried to put a positive spin on the result, Hodgson was unhappy when quizzed about his starting XI.

"You're saying that had Wayne started, he would have scored the goals the others missed from his left half (midfield) position," Hodgson told reporters.

"Wayne and Dele Alli and Harry Kane came on and created chances. The 'six changes' amuses me.

"We finished the game against Wales with Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge up front and people said that was positive. Now it suddenly becomes six with those two starting."

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