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Sep 7, 2012

Hodgson faces anxious wait on Terry

Roy Hodgson has issued a pessimistic bulletin on John Terry's fitness after watching England beat Moldova 5-0 in World Cup qualifying on Friday.

Terry was forced to leave the action in the second half with an ankle problem, which took the gloss off England's victory, sealed thanks to two goals from Frank Lampard and other strikes from Jermain Defoe, James Milner and Leighton Baines.

England are next in action against Ukraine at Wembley on Tuesday, and Hodgson must wait to discover if he will be able to call on Terry for that fixture. Steven Gerrard came off at half-time of the Moldova clash, although that was just precautionary.

"I don't think the ankle will be very serious," Hodgson told ITV. "The fact is Tuesday's very close, you've only got the three days. It's not a long-term injury by any stretch of the imagination. I'll have to wait and see what the doctor and physios tell me."

Hodgson reserved special praise for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Tom Cleverley, both of whom were handed starts. "They were very good," he said. "Alex had an excellent first half. He hasn't played much football, so we were worried about keeping him on too long. I think even at half-time he was fairly tired, because his first 15 minutes in the second half were nowhere near as good as his first 45.

"Cleverley throughout the 90 minutes was excellent, but he's been playing every minute for United. Watching him play, you see why Sir Alex Ferguson likes him so much."

Hodgson added of the general performance: "We attacked and defended well, particularly in the first half - every time we lost the ball we were quick to get around it again, and smother their counter-attacks.

"I thought in the second half, although we didn't reach the heights of the first, we still played some good football."

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