Saturday , May 18 2024

Roy Hodgson’s 23-man squad jet off for France ahead of Euro 2016

England’s 23-man squad departed Luton airport on Monday morning as they made their journey to France ahead of the start of Euro 2016 on Friday.

Roy Hodgson’s side face Russia in their opening game in Marseilles on Saturday but will first arrive at their base in Chantilly, 34 miles north of Paris.

Waiting for them across the Channel is their team bus, which made the journey from the team hotel to the airport earlier in the day.Roy Hodgson walks up the steps towards the plane as England and Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney follows in his wake

Roy Hodgson shows his appreciation for messages of support as England flew from Luton airport ahead of the start of Euro 2016

Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling looked sharp on the airport tarmac as they showed off England's Marks and Spencer's suit

Harry Kane was all smiles as he prepared to board the plane for France

Gary Cahill boarded the planed as England's senior centre-back for the touranemt

Manchester United Marcus Rashford was a surprise inclusion in the 23-man squad after making his professional debut in February

Hodgson’s men were suited and booted as they boarded the plane and posed for the now traditional team-photo on the stairs up to the cockpit.

England – drawn in Group B alongside Russia, Wales and Slovakia – warmed-up for the tournament with three wins out of three in their friendlies against Turkey, Australia and Portugal.

They signed off in their final warm-up match with a 1-0 win over the 10-man Portuguese at Wembley on Thursday night, with centre-back Chris Smalling heading the winning goal.

The performance attracted criticism in some quarters as Hodgson’s side struggled to break-down ambition less opponents.

The first-half was marred by centre-back Bruno Alves’ high challenge on Harry Kane, which resulted in a red card for the 34-year-old and prompted the away side to sit back and defend.

Kane tried to get on with the game despite his head coming into contact with his opponent’s boot, and Hodgson praised the striker’s reaction before declining to teach England to adopt a cynical edge to get the better of others in France this summer.

Harry Kane, Kyle Walkeer and Jack Wilshere flank Sturridge and Sterling as England got ready to board the plane to France 

Jamie Vardy was in high spirits as the Leicester striker contemplated his future amid a bid for his signature from Arsenal

Tottenham duo Danny Rose and Dele Alli will be key players for England as they look for success at the European Championship

Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana has been a key member of Hodgson's side since his debut in 2013

‘Harry’s first instinct when he didn’t get kicked severely was to carry on and to try and do something with the ball,’ he said.

‘Some people might say that’s very laudable, others might say you’ve got to go down, you’ve got to be cynical. I find the cynicism quite a hard thing to coach.

‘Unfortunately that’s a very hard thing to teach. I think it has to be taught – if it’s going to be taught – at a very early age and be part of your culture; I’ve said many times I don’t think it is part of our culture.

‘There will be occasions – and I take the point – that there will be a penalty, the player stays on his feet and maybe then it will be a very relevant question.

‘But again…that’s hard for me, also being English, to start trying to teach people a manner of playing which I’ve never subscribed to and they don’t subscribe to.’

Liverpool midfielder James Milner is convinced that England’s success at the European Championship will be defined by what happens against Russia on Saturday.

Southampton left-back Ryan Bertrand smiles for the camera as England prepare for their Euro 2016 campaign in France

Roy Hodgson and his assistant Ray Lewington will be hoping for an improved showing on their group-stage exit at the 2014 World Cup

England's team bus left the hotel in Chantilly earlier on Monday as it went to meet the team on their arrival at the airport

‘What I’ve learned more than anything is don’t lose your first game, whatever happens,’ Milner warned as he prepared for his fourth campaign.

‘It’s great to win it and get off to a flying start, but if you can’t get that win make sure you are solid and don’t concede late on looking for the winner.’

Meanwhile Russia striker Artem Dzyuba is not nervous about the prospect of facing England at Euro 2016 and is keen to open his country’s tournament campaign with a win over the group favourites.

‘England are a very good team – but we talked about how from all the top seeds that is who we wanted to draw.’ said Dzyuba.

‘It’s no reflection on England – it’s just that the other five nations we could have drawn as top seeds are among the nations who are the favorites to win the tournament.

‘It’s not an easy group, there is no such thing, but we are also aware that it could have been worse for us. England with their big names are the favorites on paper – but it’s a very competitive group – all four nations will believe they have a real chance.’

ENGLAND’S EURO 2016 FIXTURES

Saturday, June 11: England v Russia (20:00, Stade Velodrome, Marseille)

Thursday, June 16: England v Wales (14:00, Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens) 

Monday, June 20: Slovakia v England (20:00, Stade Geoffroy Guichard, St Etienne)

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