England manager Roy Hodgson was happy to leave his group B encounter against Wales ‘with the prize’ but praised Thursday’s opponents for their performance.
It looked like England would have to settle for a point after failing to turn possession into goals against Wales after Leicester City talisman Jamie Vardy equalised after being introduced at half time.
Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling made way for Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge as Hodgson revealed that he was after more pace and tempo from his side that went behind in the 42 minute to a long range free kick from Gareth Bale.
Hodgson will be smiling after seeing two of his substitutes score in Lens.
‘I think everyone saw the emotions as we ran the risk of smashing our heads against the roof of the bench where we were sitting because we all jumped up spontaneously,’
‘It was a particularly poignant moment after what we suffered [against Russia] on Saturday night, when we thought we were really, really hard done by to concede that last-minute equaliser when we played so well.
‘The Welsh defended exceptionally well, worked hard, and restricted the clear-cut chances with the number of men they got behind the ball.’
England enjoyed 69% of the ball as they pressed for a vital win in the group B encounter.
‘I never really talk in detail about what I say at half-time out of respect to the players, but what I will say is that we were anxious to inject more pace and tempo into our game and wanted to get the players to take a few more risks in and around the penalty area.’ added Hodgson.
‘The Welsh got incredible support, we got incredible support, and I think they saw an unbelievably exciting game.
‘We’re happy because we go home with the prize, but Wales should also be happy for having played their part in such a good occasion and such a good spectacle.’
In the final round of fixtures, England will face Slovakia while Wales will be looking to bounce back against Russia. Both matches will be played at 21:00 on June 20.
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