Hodgson hits back at Lineker's 'dark ages' jibe

Rio de Janeiro, May 31 (IANS) England football coach Roy Hodgson has hit back at claims by former striker Gary Lineker that he has taken the team back to the "dark ages".

Lineker, now a television commentator, used Twitter Thursday to criticise England's performance during a 1-1 draw with Ireland, reports Xinhua.

Speaking after arriving in Rio with the England squad for Sunday's friendly against Brazil at the revamped Maracana stadium, Hodgson expressed surprise at the comments.

"That's a pity. I thought we played well," he said. "What are the dark ages?"

"Basically when we lost the ball we were asking at least one of the front players to make certain he drops back and helps out in midfield. It's just like Borussia Dortmund did in the Champions League final.

"I'm never surprised by what things are said. I can only tell you what I think. I'm not attempting to change opinions. If you think we played poorly, go away and write it."

Lineker had said England would be "thrashed by Brazil" if the team lined up with the same 4-4-2 formation Sunday.

"It's predictable and outdated," Lineker tweeted. "It's not about playing in straight lines, it's about playing between the lines. Depth gives flexibility, passing alternatives, creativity."

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