Roy Hodgson hails impact of Ross Barkley and Andros Townsend in England’s draw with Italy

first_img1 England manager Roy Hodgson eulogised over the individual displays of substitutes Ross Barkley and Andros Townsend in the 1-1 draw against Italy in an international friendly in Turin.Barkley and Townsend replaced Theo Walcott and Fabian Delph respectively in the second half and added a much needed impetus to England’s play after falling behind to Southampton striker Graziano Pelle’s opener.Spurs winger Townsend struck a brilliant late equaliser to ensure a share of the spoils at the Juventus stadium, and Hodgson was impressed with the duo’s impact in protecting England’s unbeaten record since the World Cup.“I thought both he [Barkley] and Townsend turned the game,” said the 67-year-old.“I thought Barkley in particular was really, really good. Very brave, very courageous, prepared to get on the ball all of the time and prepared to take people on. He really is an outstanding young talent.”Barkley’s introduction saw England captain Wayne Rooney join full debutant Harry Kane up front and England instantly looked more effective, whilst Townsend’s goal continued his impressive record under Hodgson.Hodgson added: “It’s great that we’ve had the chance to have him [Barkley] with us these two games and give him 20 minutes in the first game and almost a half here now.“And I’ve got to say a word about Andros, as that’s the second time he’s come on and, when we needed someone to do something a bit special, he’s come up with the goods.“It means a lot to us as it’s no mean feat. We know, even in a friendly game, to come to Italy at any time and get a result is never an easy thing to do and to take the game to them like we did in the second half, we are indebted to Andros.”The England manager trialled a new system from the qualifying victory over Lithuania, with Rooney deployed at the top of a diamond in midfield and Phil Jones protecting the back four.As a result, England looked abject and disenchanted, and Hodgson was quick to acknowledge the ‘disappointing’ nature of their first half display which culminated in Pelle’s goal after half an hour.“It was a very disappointing first half and the atmosphere of the game was dead,” said Hodgson.“In the second half we got back to the standards – we are setting high standards now – but we got back to those standards in the second half and, if any team was going to win the game, it was going to be us.” Ross Barkley last_img

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