England captain Wayne Rooney was delighted with the patience shown by his side as they caught Switzerland twice on the counter to win 2-0 and get off the mark in their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.
Switzerland are expected to be England’s closest competitors in Group E, but Danny Welbeck’s double gave England an early headstart in the race to qualify.
“We’ve put the work in, we worked on our defensive shape when we haven’t got the ball and then springing from defence into attack, which you saw with the goals,” Rooney said.
“We’re pleased that the things we’ve worked on have paid off, so it’s a happy performance for us.”
He added: “We did well as a team and we took our chances. We caught them on the break with speed and Dan got two great goals so I’m really delighted.”
Arsenal new boy Welbeck notched his first international goals for more than a year, first tapping home after an exquisite ball across the box from Raheem Sterling, before showing great composure and awareness to calmly slot past stranded Swiss keeper Yann Sommer in the dying moments.
And the former Manchester United forward felt that his goals were ultimately just rewards for the work ethic shown by England.
“I think we created a number of chances, where maybe we could have done better with the final pass,” he said.
“Once we got the first goal I think we were in control and played a good team game today and you could see the work ethic - everyone is playing for each other and that’s very important.”
The 23-year-old could not hide his delight after scoring his fine second goal, but was quick to praise those who worked hard to provide him with the opportunity.
“Obviously we’ve sat back a little bit deeper and we’ve got the pace to get in behind them so once they went Raz [Sterling] took the ball down the wing, played it into Rickie [Lambert] and then I knew he had the ability to slide me in and thankfully he did that,” he added.
“My first touch was nice and it was a nice finish.”
Without 15 injured seniors, Hodgson’s young starting XI had just 282 caps among them whereas Switzerland’s team had played 481 times in total for their country.
That, and the fact that Switzerland were ranked 11 places above England, made the hosts the pre-match favourites but Roy Hodgson’s men were the best team going forward by some distance.
The attacking triumvirate of Welbeck, Sterling and Rooney created many chances, but their finishing let them down until Welbeck poked home his first England goal since September 6, 2013.
Aston Villa star Fabian Delph, making his full debut, also put in a strong display in the middle of the park, despite picking up an early booking.
The defensive vulnerabilities that cost England in Brazil were still evident - Phil Jones almost gifted the Swiss the lead in the first half.
But Hodgson will return to England with a broad smile on his face after beating his biggest rivals in Group E.