by CHARLIE WYETT
ROY HODGSON insists England will only get better after holding France to a battling draw.
His side delivered a top defensive performance in their Euro 2012 opener after Joleon Lescott’s opener was cancelled out by Samir Nasri.
Boss Hodgson, in only his third game in charge, said: “You don’t become a really good team in three matches and 10 training sessions.
“The French have gone 22 games unbeaten and that’s not done overnight.
“It’s been people playing together, getting to know each other’s games. The longer we play together, the better we’ll become too.
“I’ve had three games. Am I satisfied with those three games, and have the players done what’s asked of them, then yes.
“But we’ve got Sweden now. Who knows? Let’s wait and see.”
England returned to their Krakow, Poland base after a game played in 90-degree temperatures. They fly back to Ukraine on Thursday for Friday’s date with Sweden in Kiev.
Hodgson said: “Our defence played very well. I am obviously pleased for the players, most of all. The conditions were very difficult for both teams.
“We started both halves well but we suffered a good French spell just before half-time. They kept the ball well in our half for a period that led to the equaliser.
“But we started the second half as we did the first. We looked quite dangerous again.
“I’m pleased the game’s out of the way. I’m pleased the players have shown they can cope well at this level.
“I’m looking forward to the next game. This gives us a good platform. We’ll get fitter as well — match fitter. There are no injury concerns.
“But it was tough in those last 15 or 20 minutes. The French were also feeling the effects of the heat.”
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 18, a surprise starter, impressed Hodgson.
He added: “He has the ability to skip past defenders and he did that a few times but was brought down.
“He’s got the ability to beat people, which is an important ability to have.”