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Euro 2016

Facing Switzerland first not ideal for England, admits Hodgson

9:41 PM GMT+4 07/09/2014
The Three Lions manager would not have chosen to visit one of the favourites to win their Euro 2016 qualifying group first on Monday and expects "a big test" for his side

England manager Roy Hodgson admits that starting their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign against Switzerland is not ideal.

An unconvincing 1-0 home friendly victory over Norway on Wednesday has done little to raise spirits following the Three Lions' winless World Cup campaign, with Monday's away match their next test.

Switzerland - who bettered England's showing in Brazil by reaching the second round - now sit ninth in the Fifa world rankings, having established themselves as one of the leading teams in Europe, and Hodgson is well aware of their threat.

"In an ideal world we would have chosen to play Switzerland later on," he told the press. "It is a big test."

Those words did little to indicate a feeling of confidence in the England camp, with Hodgson also acknowledging that his men need a lift.

He added: "I want to see how the players perform. This will be a big test for them, it is. I want to see how they come up to speed on that test.

"I want the result and if you ask me what would you prefer - to play badly and win or to play well and lose, I'd play badly and win. I'm not different to anyone else in that respect.

"We do have to lift our heads up a little bit and performances and how we play and what happens is of vital importance to us."

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