CHRISTIAN RADNEDGE at WEMBLEY: England manager Roy Hodgson admitted he was disappointed with the final fixture of the year being a 1-0 defeat to Germany at Wembley but said it had still been a great year for England.
The defeat follows the 2-0 loss to Chile on Friday, meaning that England suffer consecutive defeats at home for the first time in 20 years.
However that did not dampen the spirit of Hodgson who will take the national side to the World Cup in Brazil next year.
He said: “I think it’s been a great year for the FA [150th celebrations], it’s been a great year for me because we’ve qualified for the World Cup. I’m not prepared to accept that we’ve used a lot of players in these two very tough matches.
“I’m not prepared to accept personally that that’s going to take the shine off a very good year in which we’ve achieved our goal and we’ve got a lot to look forward to. A lot of players now are going to fiercely contest their place in the squad.
“I’m really looking forward to 2014 and I have 2013 to thank for that.”
But the upset of losing two matches in a row without scoring was clear to see on Hodgson’s face; “I’m disappointed. It’s not nice to lose, especially the second game at home. One can’t be satisfied with that.”
With just one more friendly to play in March before announcing his World Cup squad, it was thought that the side Hodgson picked to face Germany would be a rough estimation of his preferred line-up in Brazil.
However the manager dismissed that notion, adding “There are several players who could feature in the 26 man squad, a lot of players have to be assessed before we say this was a first class squad.”
The Germany coach Joachim Low was reflected too on his 2013 with the national side and offered some cautious optimism for the year ahead.
“We began the year very positively by beating France and we finish the year with two classics; one against Italy where we should’ve won, and one against England where we did win. I can approach 2014 with a sense of quiet confidence,” he said.
“Many of the players I tested today can be proud. We got into our stride later in the year. We have one more game to test things; we play Chile game in March. Our thoughts this year are already directed at next year and at what we need to change.”
Low also said he was full of “excitement” and “curiosity” to find out who his side will face in next year’s showpiece at the World Cup finals draw on the December 6 in Bahia.
“It will give the World Cup a completely different outlook when we know who we will play and where.”