New England manager Sam Allardyce relied on a late injury time winner by Adam Lallana, to award his team three points against 10-man Slovakia away from home.
Lallana’s 95th-minute goal went through goalkeeper Matus Kozacik’s legs, and was all England had to show against a home team already suffering without captain Martin Skrtel, who received his marching orders earlier.
“It was pretty nerve-racking at the end because the 10-men scenario meant we had to win,” Allardyce said. “To score that goal was a huge relief for me. You’ve got to beat 10 men and even if we weren’t as clinical as I expected us to be, we richly deserved it based on us dominating the game.”
All the criticism and talking points after the game has been on Wayne Rooney’s position, as the public are confused as to why he’s remained so deep, even after the sacking of previous coach Roy Hodgson.
Allardyce bizarrely mentioned that it’s not up to him where Rooney plays, hinting that he can play deeper during the game if he wanted. Rooney had frustrations of his own to deal with.
“It was frustrating at times but that’s football,” Rooney said. “We didn’t panic and that’s the main thing. We stuck to our plan, kept our shape and tried to penetrate them in the right areas. Thankfully Adam got us the goal at the end to get us off to a great start.”
On his position on the field?
“That’s where Sam wanted me to play,” said the Manchester United forward. “We worked on it through the week. A lot of people thought I was going to play higher up the pitch but I think it suits me in this team for the way we play. So I’ve no problems playing there. I thought I contributed to the game.”