Roy Hodgson expressed his pride after watching his England team make it ten wins from ten in qualifying for Euro 2016 by defeating Lithuania 3-0 in Vilnius.
England became just the sixth team to qualify for the European Championship with a perfect record, although Hodgson suggested the real tests are yet to come.
The Three Lions boss said qualification was a must but he was pleased with the efforts of an experimental team that overcame Lithuania with strikes from Ross Barkley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, as well as an own-goal from Lithuania keeper Giedrius Arlauskis.
“This is an achievement. I am very proud of the players’ performances.
I thought it was excellent, in the first half especially. There was a lot of hard work put in, the quality of play was good and 10 wins out of 10 is very satisfying – we’ve got to take a lot of pride in that,”
England had nine points to spare on second-placed Switzerland and a yawning gap of 14 points back to Slovenia in third place in Group E.
Hodgson says it would have been a major surprise had his team failed to qualify and he is now looking forward to some glamour friendlies in the build-up to next summer’s finals in France.
“It would have been a surprise if we had not qualified. But the upcoming friendlies are better, stronger sides. We’ll see how we deal with that,” he added.
England face European champions Spain and France next month before tackling World Cup winners Germany in March as they ramp up preparations for next summer’s Euro 2016 Finals.
Hodgson’s men are 12.00 to win Euro 2016. Germany are 4.00 while hosts France are 4.33.