England boss Roy Hodgson insists putting on a good performance is nearly as important as the result as England open their European Championship qualifying campaign against Switzerland tonight.
Facing Group E favourites Switzerland in Basle is something of a baptism of fire for Hodgson’s side, who have had their fair share of criticism following a poor World Cup and a mediocre display in a friendly win against Norway last week. Yet Hodgson, who revealed his side have no fresh injury worries, is hopeful his team are capable of rising to the occasion.
He said: “I think it’s foolish to start saying that the only good result will be this, that or the other. For me it’s about performance as well. I want to see how the players perform.
“This will be a big test for them, it is. I want to see how they come up to speed on that test.
“I want the result and if you ask me what would you prefer – to play badly and win or to play well and lose, I’d play badly and win, I’m not different to anyone else in that respect.
“We do have to lift our heads up a little bit and performances and how we play and what happens tomorrow is of vital importance to us.”
Hodgson – who was extremely coy over where he would play captain Wayne Rooney, other than to say the Manchester United man can start in a variety of positions – admitted he would have preferred to face Switzerland at a later date.
“In an ideal world we would have chosen to play Switzerland, who on paper are certainly the major rival for the number one spot in the group, later on,” Hodgson added: “It will be a big test but it’ll be a big test where I’m certain we’ll come from the game having learned a lot.”