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Football | England

‘England a nicer place under Hodgson’



The environment in the England camp has improved since Roy Hodgson succeeded Fabio Capello as manager, according to Jack Wilshere, man of the match in the 2-1 win over Brazil.

Capello handed the Arsenal youngster his debut in August 2010 and went on to give him four caps before stepping down as manager in early 2012.

Due to injury, Wilshere was unable to participate at Euro 2012, by which time Hodgson was in charge, but since returning to the national set-up in November, he has noticed distinct changes.

"It's totally different from before," he said after Wednesday's friendly success against Brazil at Wembley Stadium.

"For one, the manager has changed and all the staff have changed, too, so it's a totally different atmosphere. It's a nice atmosphere.

"There are more English people around and we get on really well and are more relaxed.

"We have some good young players now and some with experience, so it's important we have got a good blend and it worked well (against Brazil)."

Wilshere's performance earned him widespread praise, but the 21-year-old says he cannot afford to start believing his own hype.

"I'm never happy with where I am," he said. "I feel my form is getting better and better. I always try to improve and work hard in training.

"I always want to keep my performances up for my club and then whenever I get called up for England.

"It was a great night personally and for the team as well. The main thing was the team. We had to work hard together and this win was good for our confidence."

Wilshere was deployed in midfield alongside Tom Cleverley and captain Steven Gerrard, with Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck providing support for lone striker Wayne Rooney from the flanks.

It proved a successful formula, as England's play bristled with attacking menace, but Wilshere says he knows he faces a fight to hold onto his place in the team.

"It was great (to play alongside Gerrard)," Wilshere said. "He is our leader, everyone can see that. He was talking to me throughout the game.

"There is a big talent pool there in the midfield. There was a lot of talent on the bench and we also have Michael Carrick (who missed the game through injury).

"There is a good mix there. We have youth and experience and that will only be good for us."

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