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Hodgson furious over Walcott challenge

By Football News



England manager Roy Hodgson has slammed the fierce challenge that sent Theo Walcott to hospital in Friday night's clash with San Marino.

Walcott collided with goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini during England's 5-0 World Cup qualifying win at Wembley Stadium, with the Arsenal winger to spend the night in hospital after suffering suspected broken ribs.

He will be assessed further ahead of Tuesday's game with Poland.

"I think if I were to describe it was reckless I would be being kind," Hodgson told reporters.

"It was a very fierce challenge.

"I don't believe for one minute there was any malice in it when he went for the ball (but) irrespective of that it was a very bad challenge and it's put Walcott in hospital we have to wait now and find out the extent of his injury.

"And really and truly when your goalkeeper does that, I think you are very lucky to a) have him still on the field, and b) not have a penalty given against him.

"Theo will now be in hospital overnight. It's a chest injury, and obviously didn't look too good but until such time as they've x-rayed it and scanned it we really don't know."

Although the incident put a dampener on the routine victory for the Three Lions, Hodgson insisted he was happy with the win and was keen to look at the positives, both at Wembley and elsewhere on the night.

"It was attack versus defence really, wasn't it? Usually when you do attack versus defence in practice you don't put seven or eight players in the penalty box all of the time, only occasionally," Hodgson said.

"But I thought the way we approached the game from the first minute to the last was terrific, we were patient, I thought we probed, we created chances on a regular basis throughout the 90 minutes.

"We were good value for our five goals.

"There could have been a lot more goals but certainly there was an awful lot of goal mouth action, a lot of passing, a lot of quality passing throughout the course of the game.

"Also, there were almost 85,000 people, which I thought that was quite fantastic. So that's two extremely positive aspects of the evening.

"I suppose the third positive aspect of the evening happened in Moldova as Ukraine could only succeed in drawing and not winning there as most people expected them to do which of course means that our three points here and our three points in Moldova weigh that bit more heavy."