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Hodgson prepping players for penalties

ESPN staff
June 21, 2012 « Andy Murray selected for London 2012 | Chartbeat test »

England coach Roy Hodgson is readying his players for the eventuality of a penalty shootout in their Euro 2012 quarter-final meeting with Italy.

Given England's history when it comes to penalties Hodgson has said that with the fact "the past [is] always going to weigh heavy" it is essential to prepare his players mentally for the potential pressures of a shootout.

"We have used the time after training sessions to regularly practise, and we'll obviously take it even more seriously now," Hodgson said. "You hope that, one day, it will make a big difference."

He continued: "But you can practise penalty shootouts until the cows come home - it's really your composure, your confidence, your ability to really block everything out and forget the occasion that means you score or don't."

Semi-final penalty shootout exits at the hands of Germany in the 1990 World Cup and 1996 European Championship will always be present in the consciousness, added Hodgson.

"When you are working with the England national team, the past is always going to weigh heavily because everything we do today is being compared with something that went before," he concluded.

England face Italy in Kiev on Sunday as they bid to make the semi-finals of the tournament.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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