Hodgson starts with a win

Roy Hodgson won his first match as England manager, with a 1-0 victory over Norway in Oslo. Ashley Young’s ninth-minute goal was enough to settle the match, but it was a disjointed and unimaginative display from England.

That was understandable given the number of first-choice players unavailable and the short amount of time Hodgson has had to work with the squad. Winning in Oslo is an impressive result, and Hodgson could take satisfaction from a generally solid defensive display.

"It was a team without quite a few famous names and with a new defence and a new combination in attack," Hodgson said, "so I've taken an awful lot from the fact we've beaten good-quality opponents."

He singled out Andy Carroll for praise for his enthusiasm and ability to link effectively with Young in attack. "He was good, full stop. Young and Carroll proved they can do that job."

The match was as much about nursing key players through some international action as securing a win. Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker were proficient in midfield before being withdrawn as a precaution. Gareth Barry picked up a groin injury and is in doubt for the Euro 2012 finals.

"The situation with Gareth Barry worries me and if it's serious that will give me something to think about as we don't have much time left," Hodgson said. "I spoke to Gareth and he told me: 'I think I need a scan'. Something happened during the course of the game and now we need to see how it is."

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