(CNN) -- Roy Hodgson began his reign as England manager with a win as his Euro 2012 hopefuls beat Norway 1-0 in a friendly in Oslo Saturday.
Ashley Young scored the only goal of the game with a neatly taken strike on nine minutes but England were left holding on for their victory after a lackluster second half performance.
Hodgson was appointed earlier this month in succession to Fabio Capello, who resigned in February after a disagreement over the removal of John Terry as England captain.
With little time to prepare for the finals in Ukraine and Poland, Hodgson is looking to quickly stamp his mark on the team and victory was the first priority, their first in Norway since 1966.
"It was a great start for us because we know how difficult it is to win in Norway," he told ITV Sport.
"We've had three tough days in training and everyone's been so keen to impress me that I think we left a bit on the training pitch," he added.
Hodgson gave the captain's armband to Steven Gerrard and in the early stages of the match the Liverpool man and Scott Parker, returning to action after an Achilles injury, gave England a solid base.
Stewart Downing crossed for Andy Carroll to head narrowly wide before England went ahead.
Carroll, who started brightly, played the ball forward for the Manchester United star, who deceived Brede Hangeland before scoring with a low shot.
It was the fourth goal in four internationals for Young but England were unable to add to their advantage after their promising opening.
Norway had plenty of possession and an inswinging corner from Morten Gamst Pedersen struck the post with England goalkeeper Robert Green out of position.
The start of the second half saw Gerrard replaced by Gareth Barry and Theo Walcott came on for Parker after 55 minutes.
Barry later limped off with a groin injury which looked a concern and Arsenal teenager Alex Oxlade Chamberlain came on for his first cap.
Norway continued to press without creating a clear cut opening to leave Hodgson smiling at the finish.
His team have one more friendly against Belgium at Wembley before Euro 2012 where they are paired with France, co-hosts Ukraine and Sweden in their group.
They must play their first two games without the suspended Wayne Rooney.