• Euro 2012

Hodgson: England must be confident

ESPN staff
June 7, 2012

Roy Hodgson expects England to play with "confidence and self-belief" during Euro 2012, despite the pressure which will be placed on the team.

Hodgson is aware that his players will come under intense scrutiny at home after enduring disappointing campaigns at major tournaments in recent years. The former West Brom manager insists much of the negative press surrounding the team in the lead-up will ultimately help England during the group stage matches.

"It's only a good thing," Hodgson told the BBC. "Football players are under enormous pressure.

"We, as coaches, put them under enormous pressure - we want a lot from them - because we can only succeed when they succeed. The nation puts them under pressure.

"I would expect the players to have confidence and self-belief and if they haven't, I'll be saying to them: 'Why haven't you got self-belief? If I was as good as you, I'd be very, very confident'."

Hodgson is motivated by Denmark's triumph in 1992 - when they competed in the tournament after UEFA decided to exclude Yugoslavia - though he recognises England are not among the early favourites to take out the title.

"Any team can win it," he said. "We've seen Denmark win it in '92 when they assembled the players off the beaches because they shouldn't have been there under the normal circumstances.

"We've seen Greece win it against all the odds when no one gave them a prayer at the start of the tournament. It's a football match and anything can happen."

England's task gets under way against France on Monday before further fixtures against Sweden and co-hosts Ukraine, but Hodgson knows he will not be able to enjoy the tournament unless he is in charge of a winning side.

"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "I'm determined to enjoy it as best as we can.

"But of course to really enjoy it, you've got to win. There's very little enjoyment to be had in football when you're not winning and we all know that. We will try and do the best we can and if there's any allowances that need to be made then the public will make those allowances for us."

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