• Gary Lineker mocks England's passing against Ukraine
• England manager shocked by criticism but says it is job done
Roy Hodgson launched a strong defence of his England team in the face of scathing criticism, again led by Gary Lineker, about their performance in the goalless draw against Ukraine that keeps them top of Group H.
Lineker described England as "woeful" and "awful", mocking their passing, while the former Germany international Dietmar Hamann also had his say on Hodgson's team, concluding they were "stuck in the dark ages".
Hodgson, however, was clearly aggrieved after being informed that his team were being derided. His view was that it was a "very high-quality" performance.
"I am happy," he said. "I cannot comment on what people think at home, but I don't think that is a fair comment on our performance. If the expectations upon us are now so great we come to places like Ukraine and are expected to roll teams over, it will be difficult for us ever to get a good result.
"I will stick to my ignorance. I think it is a good result. I am surprised that has not been the reaction back at home. Who are we talking about? There are 60 million people back there. I find it a difficult one to answer. Before coming here, the feeling among you people was that a draw would have been a good result. So I am surprised to hear people say that what I thought was a good performance has become underwhelming yet again."
Lineker, increasingly one of Hodgson's more outspoken critics, previously castigated the team after their 1-1 draw against Republic of Ireland in May.
This time the former England international renewed his complaints on Twitter, asking: "What happens to some of these players when they pull on an England shirt? When you see England pass it like they've never been introduced to each other, it does make you wonder why [Michael] Carrick doesn't feature."
Another message read: "We're seeing a lot of one-touch football. England have a touch. Ukraine have a touch. England have a touch…" Finally, Lineker started looking ahead to the World Cup. "Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina et al, you're in big trouble!"
Hodgson pointed out that England were missing several key players. "Our options, attacking-wise, were limited as three of our top strikers were not available. We had a top player in [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain also unavailable.
"I thought the players who took their place did a remarkable job. We knew with 70,000 people here and the Ukraine team in good form, after recent results, it would not be easy and I am pleased with way we dealt with it."
England are a point clear going into the final two matches against Montenegro and Poland, and Hodgson added: "It is still very tight. We knew before this game a victory would put us in an incredibly good position. But I am more than happy to go into these last two games at Wembley top of the groupand with one more point than our rivals. It is an unbelievably tight group and it is positive as far as we are concerned. "Both teams showed they have got the quality to get to the World Cup in Brazil."
Steven Gerrard was also satisfied even though it means England have still beaten only Moldova and San Marino in Group H. "I don't think it was top class but defensively we were solid. Before the game the manager said we need to keep it in our hands and it gives us the final two games to win to get through," said the England captain.
"We have a better chance to beat our competitors at Wembley. We always knew we were going to have to do it the hard way. Tonight we've done the job, I don't think it was top class, but the job was done."