By Nick Ames in Donetsk
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has expressed his delight at being selected for England’s 1-1 draw with France and says that he and his team-mates can use the result as a platform for future success.
The Arsenal midfielder was handed a start by manager Roy Hodgson - winning his third cap - and distinguished himself with an assured display on the flank.
“It was a massive honour for me to get out there," he told Arsenal.com after the game. "To be selected for my country, and then to start tonight, against a really good French team was great for me.
“I found out earlier this afternoon - that’s when the boss told us the final team, so it wasn’t too long ago!”
Alex impressed in his 76 minutes of action despite possession being at a premium for England. Constantly making himself available for the ball, he showed some tantalising flashes of what might be in store for followers of the national team.
“That’s the way I’d explain it - there were small glimpses of what I’m capable of doing,” he said.
“Obviously, against a good French team, it was frustrating for us in terms of possession. They had a lot of it, and opportunities to get in the positions I like, one against one, were few and far between so it was quite hard.”
Being pitched up against roving French right back Mathieu Debuchy meant that work off the ball was equally important for Alex, and - despite a first-half yellow card - he passed that test too.
“The main thing was to work hard for the team and do a good job defensively,” he said.
“I tried to make sure I did that all night, and obviously all the boys worked really hard. But it’s not about me, it’s about the team, and to come out of the our first game with a result is good. We can push on and get stronger from there.”