Hodgson: Comeback was on the cards

England boss Roy Hodgson has admitted it gave him great joy seeing Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge step off the bench to score in a 2-1 triumph over Wales on Thursday afternoon.

Gareth Bale's 30-yard free-kick had given the Welsh the lead just three minutes before the half-time break, prompting Hodgson to bring on Jamie Vardy and Sturridge at the start of the second half.

The substitutions had the desired effect as Vardy swept home in the 56th minute to level the scores, before Sturridge popped up in the first minute of injury time to slot home a dramatic winning goal.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live after full-time, Hodgson said: "It's a long time since myself and the coaching staff have showed such joy.

"When the chances don't go in and you've compounded your task by conceding that Gareth Bale goal, it really is a happy moment when both the substitutes score.

"I thought it was on the cards all the way through the second half."

Commenting on the opposition, he added: "I have great empathy with Chris and the Welsh team because he must have been looking at a good draw. He will be today as I was on Saturday night."

Wales manager Chris Coleman, meanwhile, was complimentary in defeat and called on his side to bounce back with a good showing against Russia in their final Group B game.

"Congratulations to Roy. He made some good substitutions and we knew they would push us back," Coleman said.

"Most of the time we looked quite strong and, although they had a lot of possession, I wasn't that worried.

"But when you are bringing on the likes of Vardy and Sturridge and Sterling and Kane going off… They are top players.

"The guys showed great heart. They stuck into the game and, with 60 seconds remaining, to give up that point we worked so hard for, we are gutted.

"We are here to get through to the last 16. We move on and have to show a reaction against Russia. If we get a result we are still in the tournament and have all to play for."

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