Fans' chanting mars England's 3-1 win

UPPING HIS GAME: England's Rooney scored a brace during their friendly win against Scotland in Glasgow on Tuesday.


    Nov 20, 2014

    Fans' chanting mars England's 3-1 win


    ENGLAND manager Roy Hodgson admitted that his side's 3-1 friendly victory over Scotland in Glasgow had been slightly tarnished by the away supporters' antagonistic chanting.

    Wayne Rooney scored twice and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also found the target in Tuesday's game at Celtic Park, as England recorded a sixth win in six games.

    But England's fans could be heard chanting about the Irish Republican Army, the paramilitary group responsible for hundreds of deaths during the Irish Troubles, in an apparent bid to rile rival supporters at the home of Celtic, who have a historic association with the Irish community.

    It came after Scotland's supporters had booed God Save The Queen, the British national anthem, but Hodgson told his post-match press conference: "I don't condone any chanting, I've got to say.

    "My concentration was on the football match. I was aware the crowd were tremendously supportive. I didn't have a clue what they were chanting. I heard a few about (Scotland manager) Gordon Strachan.

    "But unfortunately, chanting and people singing songs which no one in football condones goes on. I don't condone it.

    "If anyone was offended, I'm sure the FA (Football Association) would apologise to them. All we can do is play our football and hope our fans behave themselves and enjoy our football."

    Rooney's brace, either side of a late strike by Scotland left-back Andy Robertson, took his tally of international goals to 46, leaving the Manchester United striker three goals short of Bobby Charlton's record.

    "His game is improving all the time and there was more to his play today (Tuesday) than the two goals. There were many positive points to his game," Hodgson said.

    "Records and milestones are important. It must be nice for him to think he'll see his name at the top of the list, and a record number of caps is in his sights, too.

    "He must keep his fitness, but he won't be the first one to retire from football."

    Hodgson's evening was not without disappointment, however, amid news that Liverpool's England striker Daniel Sturridge had suffered a setback in his attempt to recover from a thigh injury.

    When informed of the news, Hodgson responded by saying: "Has he? That's really bad news.

    "The only positive for that is we don't play again until March. That's a massive blow for Liverpool. I hope, by March, he will be OK."

    Hodgson also revealed that Jordan Henderson, Luke Shaw and Danny Welbeck had received minor injury scares.

    "Henderson has a slight hamstring problem. He could have played and wanted to play," said the former Liverpool manager.

    "Shaw and Welbeck were taken off the field for the same reason. They'd felt slight stiffness in the groin and hamstring."

    Scotland manager Strachan admitted that his side had been unsettled by England's positive approach to the game on their first trip north of the border in 15 years.

    But having seen his team record an important 1-0 win over the Republic of Ireland in Euro 2016 qualifying last week, he said that it was important to keep things in perspective.

    "When we met 10 days ago, the point of the exercise was to get three points against the Republic, which we did. I'm proud of the way we went about it," he said.

    "Then you analyse the game tonight (Tuesday), because you want to win it. The intensity, the pace England played at, without the ball in particular, was fantastic and spooked our players a bit.

    "I think my players were expecting England to sit back and wait, but they didn't. They're a team full of Champions League players and they showed that.

    "Maybe we were mentally fatigued from Friday, too, which we need to look at.

    "We let ourselves down, to be honest. But we haven't over the 10 days. Just in this game."