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Hodgson takes positives from Euro exit

ESPN staff
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England crashed out of Euro 2012 on penalties © Getty Images
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Roy Hodgson felt nervousness and tension played a part as England crashed out of Euro 2012 on penalties.

England were beaten 4-2 by Italy in the shootout after the game had finished 0-0, as Ashley Young lashed his effort against the bar and Ashley Cole saw his shot saved by Gianluigi Buffon.

Hodgson was happy with his penalty taking options, but admitted no amount of practice can replicate the occasion of a European Championship shootout.

"I've watched all these players smashing in penalties during training but you can't reproduce the occasion, the tension and the nervousness," Hodgson said. "No amount of coaching can reproduce the cool calculated way Andrea Pirlo chipped the keeper.

"We had five great penalty takers but unfortunately for us two of them missed. We saw Cole scoring a penalty in the Champions League final for Chelsea and Young has converted many for his club sides."

England carried little by way of a threat going forward, but Hodgson will look to take the positives away from the tournament.

"We are going out of this tournament unbeaten in normal time," Hodgson said. "We're going home because we can't win a penalty shootout.

"Whether we did enough or were good enough is a matter of opinion but we certainly tried to win it in 90 minutes. There was never any question of playing for penalties.

"The players gave their all but we have to accept that we weren't quite good enough to win it in 120 minutes and, when it went to penalties, we went down the same route as so many times before.

"Our defending was very resolute and we did very well to resist the strong pressure we came under in the second half.

"I wouldn't begrudge Italy their victory but there were chances missed at both ends and it was an interesting tactical battle.

"For all Italy's possession they didn't get behind our defence too often. But we didn't do as well with the ball as we could have."

Italy dominated for long spells and Hodgson felt fatigue played a part as the match progressed.

He said: "It's been a fantastic tournament for us but we were unlucky that we lost the powerhouse of our team from midway in the second half.

"Scott Parker was feeling his Achilles and Steven Gerrard had cramp in his hip and his calf."

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