Three Lions looking to restore supporter confidence in the team after 2014 World Cup failure.
England are heading for a friendly victory on Wednesday despite the fact that the Three Lions are experiencing a World Cup hangover which has led to only 25,000 fans purchasing tickets for the game so far.
Wayne Rooney will captain England for the first time against a Norway side hoping to give a good account of themselves at the national stadium, although they might find Liverpool’s attacking players too hot to handle.
Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge were fast out of the traps at White Hart Lane on Sunday, with Sterling particularly impressive and he rates as a decent bet at 7/1 to score first.
“I am hoping it won’t be too evident that apathy exists” said Hodgson. “I am hoping the public get behind the team because the team needs them. We have to make certain we produce some good performances and hopefully people will watch, albeit maybe on television, and think: ‘This team is worth watching, this team is worth following.’
“But no amount of words I use will change the situation and one thing I am certainly never going to do is to criticise the fans. I understand them. I hope they understand that we are disappointed and aware, too, that to get them back on board we have to produce the performances.”
“We’re being labelled – or I’m being accused of leading England to being – a second-rate country. If that’s the case, a draw will be a fantastic result over there. If that’s your real opinion, that we’re heading towards mediocrity, maybe you shouldn’t expect us to win matches against Switzerland, who are fifth or sixth [ninth, in fact] in the world, had quite a good World Cup and have a very experienced team.
“I don’t think that way. I don’t think we’re heading for mediocrity. I think there’s great potential. There’s hope. It’s not going to be solved overnight. For years you have watched players you believed in and admired, but unfortunately they haven’t produced the results that you wanted them to achieve.
“We understand now that achieving those results is going to be even harder. The good news for us – albeit we’re still suffering from the post-World Cup depression and disappointment that we all felt – is that we have two years to make certain we qualify. And in 2016, let’s see what kind of team we have.”