Gerrard calls for perspective
Skipper Steven Gerrard does not believe England need to despair about their prospects if they lose their Euro 2012 opener against France.
So often in the past, the Three Lions have headed into major tournaments carrying a massive weight of expectancy from those supporting back home.
But Gerrard believes a point against a France team unbeaten in its last 21 games would be regarded as a significant achievement. He said: "It's the first game. It's not the end of the world whichever way it goes."
He added: "It is important we don't get carried away thinking we are going to win the tournament if we win and don't commit suicide if we lose because there will still be two games to recover."
Both Hodgson and Gerrard were bristling with indignation when it was suggested by a French journalist that England - with a single World Cup win to their name and nothing in the intervening 46 years - may question their status as a footballing power.
"You didn't actually need to remind me," Hodgson said of England's World Cup win. "That has crossed my mind on one or two occasions.
"It's a fact of life. But I think before the very good French period we could have levelled a similar accusation against them.
"It was a facetious question but there was a little element of truth in what he was saying.
"As a top nation we haven't won as many tournaments as we should or done as well as we should.
"We all feel that weight of history and there's nothing we can do to take it off our shoulders except make certain we embrace the tournament, that we are not afraid of it and that we believe in ourselves."
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