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'Good luck in the World Cup - you'll need it'

ESPN staff
March 6, 2014
Denmark coach Morten Olsen questioned whether England youth and pace will be enough in Brazil © AP

Denmark coach Morten Olsen claims England will need to get lucky to make an impact at the World Cup if their performance against his team at Wembley was anything to go by.

He fired a warning shot at Roy Hodgson's team despite suffering a 1-0 friendly defeat, saying: "I wish you good luck in the World Cup - you need it."

England, fielding a host of young players, were kept at bay for much of Wednesday night's friendly by a fine performance from goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

They finally made the breakthrough in the 82nd minute when fine work from substitute Adam Lallana allowed Daniel Sturridge to head home.

However, the visitors also had chances and Olsen - who has been in charge of the Danes since 2000 - felt it would have been a different result had Tottenham playmaker Christan Eriksen been fit.

"I think we would have won if Christian Eriksen was playing, because we had the space. With him it would have been a different game," he said. "They had chances and Schmeichel had an excellent day, but we also had some chances."

He added: "I think that England have a young team with a lot of quickness. It's promising for the future but is it enough for the World Cup?"

England manager Hodgson was aware of Olsen's comments but insisted he was unconcerned.

"To suggest that someone wishing you good luck should be regarded as negative surprises me," he said. "I don't care about that. Every team will need good luck. We didn't need it tonight, that's for sure."

After the friendly defeats to Chile and Germany late last year, Hodgson was pleased to see his young side return to winning ways.

"Over half of the players we have in this squad are under 23," he said. "We are looking in that direction, but I don't feel under obligation to pick kids. The younger players are doing well at the moment. Hopefully you will be impressed with their performances, and I'll have to make a decision going forward.

"[Luke] Shaw and Lallana were very good. You couldn't get me to say anything negative about any of the young players today. I was very pleased with [Raheem] Sterling, Sturridge and I couldn't see any negatives.

"At one stage we only had Gary Cahill, Joe Hart, Glen Johnson and Steven Gerrard who would consider themselves seniors. The others were finding their way, and yet we still didn't give Denmark a sniff at our goal.

"That's a positive thing. I wanted the young players to have a chance to get out there and play, and I'm sure Shaw and Lallana will go back to Southampton feeling very positive."

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