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England manager Roy Hodgson praises his six debutants including Tottenham defender Steven Caulker
Roy Hodgson praised the impact of his six debutants, including Spurs defender Steven Caulker, despite the 4-2 defeat by a Zlatan Ibrahimovic-inspired Sweden at the Friends Arena in Stockholm.
Caulker was one of those making his England bow and the 20-year-old defender enjoyed a memorable night as he capped his Three Lions debut with a goal to put England 2-1 up in the 38th minute.
"Many players who got a chance came out with great credit," Hodgson said.
"I thought the debutants were good, all of them did fine and I am certainly a wiser man than (I was) before this game, going into 2013.”
The former Swansea City loanee connected with captain Steven Gerrard’s free-kick, putting England back in the lead, becoming the youngstest Spurs player ever to score for England in the process, beating Jermain Defoe’s previous record.
Caulker was replaced with 16 minutes to play by fellow debutant Ryan Shawcross, three minutes later Ibrahimovic got the second of his four to turn the game on its head.
Also making a long-awaited return to the international fold was central midfielder Tom Huddlestone.
The 25 year-old won just his fourth full cap, three years after making his debut under Fabio Capello in a friendly against Brazil.
Huddlestone’s last appearance for England came over two years ago in a World Cup 2010 warm-up match against Japan.