Still a work in progress - Roy Hodgson

Well done: Manager Roy Hodgson applauds  England at the end
Well done: Manager Roy Hodgson applauds England at the end

England boss Roy Hodgson insisted his side remained a work in progress after their battling Euro 2012 draw with France in Donetsk last night.

Joleon Lescott put the Three Lions ahead with a header from point-blank range after half an hour.

But Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri levelled before the break, forcing England onto the back foot for most of the second period.

However, France were unable to break their defences a second time, allowing Hodgson’s side to collect what could turn out to be a valuable point.

“I’ve had three games,” he said. “I am satisfied with those three games but you don’t become a really good team in three matches and 10 training sessions.

“The French have gone 22 games unbeaten. They’ve not done that overnight. It’s been the result of people playing together, getting to know each other’s games. The longer we play together, the better we’ll become.”

Hodgson cannot be criticised for the boldness of his team selection.

Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck impressed on his first competitive start and Hodgson’s decision to hand 18-year-old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain the biggest match of his life was fully justified: “The way he’s played since coming into the squad, his performance against Belgium, the ability he has to skip past defenders is excellent.”

Hodgson reported no fresh injury concerns, other than a snapped Achilles tendon for goalkeeping coach Ray Clemence.

However, as so many of his squad lack recent match practice, he does believe their overall fitness will improve as a result of playing in such searing heat.