Hodgson will now take England to a second major tournament having led them at Euro 2012, taking the job on the eve of the event. He felt this qualification was a reward for getting better as time went on, as well as the fitness and performances of his players, both old and new.
"I think we have been getting better all the time," he said.
"The results that spoiled, so it's not an unblemished record, are the away games we only drew.
"But we knew we had these games, were coming strong, had players coming back from injury.
"We have also found an outstanding winger in (Andros) Townsend who has played two games as if he's been there all his life.
"When you perform that well in front of 90,000 everyone will look. It's when he's not outstanding that people will ask, 'What's happened to Andros Townsend' but he will deal with that."
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