Hodgson backs young talent as England hit six

ENGLAND manager Roy Hodgson believes the Under-21s’ 6-0 thrashing of Scotland last night at a packed Bramall Lane proved there is plenty of reason to be positive about the strength of the national team.

With senior manager Hodgson in temporary charge after previous boss Stuart Pearce departed earlier this summer, England’s youngsters took the lead on three minutes through Norwich midfielder Nathan Redmond.

Swansea’s Jonjo Shelvey split the Scotland defence with a long pass forwards and Redmond fired in.

Liverpool starlet Raheem Sterling then latched on to striker Connor Wickham’s flick-on to double the lead on 38 minutes.

After the break a mistake from Spurs goalkeeper Jordan Archer, who miscued a kick out of his hands straight to Wickham on the edge of the box, gifted the Sunderland striker the third goal.

Midfielder Ross Barkley slotted in number four, and little more than a minute later Shelvey netted from 30 yards.

Tottenham midfielder Tom Carroll completed the rout when he turned in Redmond’s low cross with three minutes remaining.

Hodgson said: “I’m delighted for them. They’ve taken a lot of criticism, some of which has been very harsh.

“It would be very surprising if people can watch that performance, see how many talented players we have and moan about the dearth of quality players in this country.

“What impressed me most was the players’ desire. If they did make any mistakes or lost the ball they were unbelievably quick to get back again. The work-rate was quite outstanding and I was really pleased to see that.

“They did themselves proud.”