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Hodgson refuses to blame Hart for Ibrahimovic-inspired Sweden defeat
Hodgson happy with state of England progress despite criticism

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Hodgson happy with state of England progress despite criticism

England manager Roy Hodgson is refusing to blame goalkeeper Joe Hart for his role in the Three Lions' 4-2 defeat to Sweden.

PSG star Zlatan Ibrahimovic undoubtedly stole the show with an incredible performance, scoring all four of his team's goals, but Hart could have perhaps done better for at least two of them.

The Manchester City man got a hand to Ibrahimovic's second, looked positionally suspect for his third and produced a very poor headed clearance just before the 31-year-old spectacularly bicycle-kicked in his fourth, but Hodgson will not point the finger.

Speaking to ITV after the match, Hodgson said: "You can always blame goalkeepers for those things, but it was a bit disappointing to concede a goal of course, when a shot's coming in from that distance.

"I'll have to see it again on the video replay; I certainly wouldn't be prepared to start casting aspersions on the goalkeeper or proportioning blame. That doesn't matter.

"All goals are mistakes somewhere along the line; the thing is what you do during the course of the 94 minutes, and I thought during the 94 minutes today we did some very good things."

Hodgson also hailed Ibrahimovic's "extraordinary" fourth goal but admitted the second and third affected his team badly despite having the better of the match, in his opinion.

He continued: "There's no doubt the fourth goal was something really extraordinary. Of course that put the tin lid on the game, but it was the second and third goals that cost us a victory here.

"But I thought for long periods of the game, certainly 70 minutes of the game, I thought we were actually playing very well and deserved to be leading.

"I thought we were very dangerous but of course I was quite anxious to look at a few players in this game, and maybe the changes at the end and the second goal gave them more initiative, and we ended up losing.

"There are a lot of positives to take from the game for me."

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