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Hodgson determined to end 'nasty' statistic

ESPN staff
June 23, 2012 « Gerrard: Time to silence England critics | Chartbeat test »

Roy Hodgson is keen to help England rid themselves of the "nasty" statistic that 1966 was the last time they beat a World Cup-winning nation in the knockout rounds of a major tournament held on foreign soil.

The Three Lions take on Italy in the Euro 2012 quarter-final on Sunday evening with history against them, but Hodgson told a press conference in Kiev that his players were the only ones who could put the negative talk to bed.

"It's a nasty statistic and a very negative one, so all statistics that can be turned against you have to be statistics we're anxious to do something about," he said. "You don't change statistics by talking, but rather by getting on the pitch, winning and putting it to bed so people won't continually bring it up."

Hodgson also insisted he did not quite understand the suggestion that England play in an Italian style. Barely more than 24 hours prior to kick-off, he sees no reason to change England's compact, counter-attacking ways.

"I don't know what they mean that we play like the Italian team, so they'll have to explain it to us what qualities they see in our play that are similar to the Italians and the way they play," he said.

"I'm not so certain it is a different mentality in the quarter-final, especially as in the group stages there was always a sense of the knockout about it. I don't think it'll change our mentality in particular. We have to prepare for the match and ensure when we are out there that we can do what we set out to do."

Steven Gerrard, speaking at the same press conference, urged his England colleagues to silence their critics against the Azzurri on Sunday.

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