England Manager Roy Hodgson was visibly delighted with his teama s impressive performance against Lithuania last night. His side registered a superb 4-0 win at Wembley and have now won five games in a row in the qualification of the Euro Championships in 2016.
Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane was expected to make his debut and while he didna t start the game, when he did come on as a substitute he made an instant impact. Only 78 seconds into his debut and with only his third touch, Kane nodded home from Raheem Sterlinga s cross. It was the third fastest goal by an English debutant behind Bill Nicholson in 1951 and John Cook in 1919.
Prior to Kanea s goal, captain Wayne Rooney scored his 47th goal for England, while former Manchester United team mate added a sixth goal in five qualifiers for the national team.
Speaking after the game, Hodgson praised the debutant but also issued a word of caution for the 21-year-old.
a It was a very satisfying evening for us and fantastic for Harry,a said Hodgson. a Wea re so delighted for him. It is a bit of a fairytale, but ita s nice when fairytales come true, and ita s come true for Harry. Hea s crowned his England debut with a well-taken goal, so Ia m delighted with tonighta s performance and for Harry. It couldna t be better really.
a Therea s been a lot of pressure and hype around him and ita s fantastic that, in the time he was on the field, he made a good run to the back post, Raheem Sterling produces a bit of magic and Harry scores a great goal. We hope thata s the start of a great career for him. I think Harry will put pressure on himself because hea s a good professional, but I dona t think hea s a person whoa ll buckle under pressure.
a Hea ll have to accept the media spotlight, which has already been enormous, will only get bigger, but hea s in good hands with Mauricio (Pochettino) at Tottenham Hotspur and with us here. Wea ll make sure we dona t build him up to knock him down, but build him up to be a big part of our future. He is still a young man, but what could be better than making his debut and scoring a goal?a
England will be without several stars for their upcoming friendly match against Italy on Saturday. Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling will return home to get some treatment for a toe injury while James Milner is to undergo a scan on a knee problem. Everton fullback Leighton Baines is set to be replaced by Saintsa star Ryan Bertrand, while Welbeck also has a knee concern that may see him miss out.
a It was a tweak to the knee,a added Hodgson. a The medical staff gave me the impression theya re not terribly worried about it, but that Tuesday may be too soon for him to feature. But wea ll see.a
Rooney, who was especially good last night, was equally pleased with the teama s performance and believes that the rest of the teams in Europe should be scared.
a Since the World Cup we have been fantastic,a said Rooney
a Wea ve had some great victories, are scoring goals and we have real energy around the team. A lot of teams will be looking at this team around Europe and will be frightened.a
England have now won seven out of seven games since a first round exit from the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.