European Qualifiers: England defender Gary Cahill backs boss Roy Hodgson to lead team beyond 2016

Gary Cahill speaks about the England defence

Roy Hodgson is the right manager to lead England beyond the 2016 European Championships, says defender Gary Cahill.

There have been some reports suggesting the Football Association is looking to extend Hodgson's current contract, which is due to finish after the tournament in France in 19 months.

After a stuttering show at the World Cup in the summer, some critics questioned the choice of Hodgson at the helm, but when asked if the 67-year-old should continue for the long term, Cahill said: "Yes - I think he has been great for us.

Euro 2016 Qualifiers

"The manager has addressed things he wanted to address and it is working at the minute for us. We are building and going in the right direction. Everyone is behind the manager."

England have impressed in the European qualifying campaign with three wins from three and lead Group E by three points. They next play second-placed Slovenia at Wembley on Saturday aiming for a sixth consecutive clean sheet. 

The last time England conceded a goal was in the 2-1 defeat by Uruguay at the World Cup and Cahill thinks the team are developing more of an edge mentally as well as physically.

Skipper Wayne Rooney had suggested in Brazil that England needed to be more streetwise and Cahill added: "I think at times we've been too nice, and it [changing that] comes with experience.

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"It's a big part of the game - knowing when to slow things down, or when not to play from the back. It's just managing the game really, which maybe we are doing a lot better."

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Cahill has also credited coach Gary Neville for helping England to toughen up defensively and become more savvy on the field.

On the former England and Manchester United full-back, the Chelsea 28-year-old said: "He was a fantastic defender.

"And he likes being hard, and tough to play against, being physical - almost like old-school, whereby you let the attackers know they are in a game and feel your presence, just by being aggressive and getting tight to them.

"It's something we've certainly addressed. We are definitely a lot harder to play against defensively. It is about being physical and wanting to win the ball back and putting tackles in - the basics of defending, really. I think at the minute we are doing that really well."

Watch England take on Scotland from Celtic Park live on Sky Sports 5 from 7.30pm on Tuesday, November 18

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