Roy Hodgson claims England’s 3-2 victory against Germany in Berlin has underlined his belief that the current squad could end the nation’s 50 year wait for international success.
Goals from Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy and Eric Dier saw England overturn a 2-0 deficit to defeat the world champions in the Olympic Stadium, boosting hopes of a positive tournament at Euro 2016 in France this summer.
But while remains keen to urge caution on England’s prospects, Hodgson admits that the team he now has is the most exciting of his four years in charge of the national team.
“I’ve felt that for quite a while now,” Hodgson said. “Those games in the autumn, Spain away and France at home, I thought then that if we could keep this group together and engender the right spirit and belief to have the confidence to go out and play their way out of trouble, we’ve got some players who could be very interesting for England in the future.
“What worries me now is that, while enjoying this night and admitting it’s my best with England so far, I’m worried a lot of the criticisms we’ve had in the past will be forgotten and we’ll be lifted up.
“This is a team that is definitely a work in progress. When Danny Rose goes out there and plays against Thomas Muller in Berlin in front of 71000 people, it’s a fantastic step forward but it’s still only one cap.
“It was Dele Alli’s third start. Eric Dier’s fourth game. Harry Kane’s ninth game.
“Let’s keep these players’ feet on the ground, keep them humble. Let’s keep them hungry to learn from their mistakes.”
Despite his insistence that the country must avoid the trap of allowing the victory in Germany artificially raise hopes ahead of Euro 2016, Hodgson admits that there will be huge positives for self-confidence after the result in Berlin.
“It certainly won’t do it any harm, but it’s a friendly match,” Hodgson said. “We must be careful attaching too much importance on it.
“Had we lost the game 3-2, and the Germans had scored late on, I wouldn’t have been sitting here bitterly disappointed.
“I would still have been happy with the way the team approached the game and the progress the young players are making.
“We had a lot of debutants and inexperienced players out there. It’s a good step forward, a moment of progression in the work we are doing with them, but we can still do things better.
“We have four more friendly games and two and a half months of work before we play the game that really will count, against Russia in Marseille.”