Wayne Rooney was surprised to learn that he was left out of the England team for their final Group B clash against Slovakia, according to reports. Roy Hodgson controversially made six changes to the Three Lions side that beat Wales against Slovakia, with the match in Saint-Etienne ending in a goalless draw.
The result meant a second-place finish in Group B behind Wales and a potentially tougher route to the final, with heavyweights France, Spain, Italy and Germany all in England’s half of the draw.
Hodgson has defended his team selection for the match, which saw him leave out Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling, along with captain Rooney from the starting XI.
“I never have regrets if the team has played well,” he was quoted as saying.
“I would have maybe had some regrets if we hadn’t played well and dominated the game and controlled it.”
‘Not afraid of any team’
According to reports, Hodgson’s bosses at the FA are unhappy with England finishing behind Wales in Group B.
The 68-year-old’s contract with the national team expires at the end of Euro 2016, with FA chairman Greg Dyke making it clear that reaching the semi-final stage is a minimum for the former Liverpool boss to earn an extension.
England will face one of Portugal, Hungary, Austria or Iceland in the round of 16 on 4 July in Nice, before a potential quarter-final showdown with hosts and pre-tournament favourites France in Paris.
“The way we’re playing at the moment – to be quite honest – I’m not frightened of anybody,” Hodgson told the FA’s official website after the Slovakia match.
“I thought I’d never see an England team in a tournament be able to dominate three games as much as we’ve done so that gives me some sort of satisfaction.
“And I’m pretty sure that sooner or later we’re going to make somebody pay because if we keep dominating and creating chances like we’re doing we’re going to score goals one day.”