Captain Steven Gerrard summed up the general satisfaction in the England camp when he described the opening 1-1 draw with Group D rivals France as “a platform” for Roy Hodgson’s men to build on. Scott Parker repeated those words as he reflected on a third game unbeaten under new manager Hodgson, though he also promised that England would show more as an attacking force in the games to come.
Steven Gerrard, England midfielder
France have got fantastic players and I thought we caused them as many problems as they caused us so we’re satisfied with the performance. I said before the game that no matter what the result was today, we wouldn’t get carried away, it was only going to be a platform. It’s great to get off the mark, points-wise, and now we need to follow it up and try and get four points after two.
Wayne Rooney showed all those years ago that if you’re good enough, you’re old enough and [18-year-old Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain showed tonight that he’s good enough for this level. He’s still got a lot of learning to do but playing with experienced players he’ll soon pick that up quickly.
Scott Parker, England midfielder
We’re happy with the point. It was a difficult game in difficult conditions in terms of the temperature, quite a slow game against a very good France team. We had a good chance in the first half with James [Milner] and then went 1-0 ahead but like I said, we are happy with the draw and it gives us a good platform now to move on in the competition. In the next two games, we hope that maybe we can go a little bit more on the attacking side.
Joe Hart, England goalkeeper
Samir [Nasri]’s a clever player, we dropped off a little bit. It was a good goal and we have to concentrate on the good performance. You can question the team all you want, but you’ll always get belief, pride and quality. People forget that we’re England and we’re a good side. In that first 25 minutes they weren’t ready for us.