Hodgson not thinking about penalties

23 June 2012 09:47

Roy Hodgson has branded the prospect of a penalty shoot-out to decide Sunday night's Euro 2012 quarter-final "the least of my concerns".

It had been suggested the England boss already knew which five players should take spot-kicks if the last-eight encounter with Italy in Kiev is deadlocked after 120 minutes.

In fact, it seems Hodgson is not as pre-occupied about the prospect as fans and media alike after 22 years in which elimination has come from the penalty spot on five different occasions. He said: "I don't really understand the obsession with it."

"From about half-time in extra-time we'll know which of our more recognised penalty takers are there.

"I'm sure Ray (Lewington) and Gary (Neville) will be working feverishly to get some sort of order.

"Up to then, a penalty shoot-out is the least of my concerns."

He continued: "I'm an optimist. I don't anticipate the game going to a penalty shoot-out. I anticipate us winning in 90 minutes so why should I concern myself with 120 minutes when we haven't even kicked the first ball yet?

"Penalty shoot-outs are a hazardous way of deciding a game of football. It was decided upon because it was seen as slightly less hazardous than the toss of a coin, but you're pretty much in the same ballpark.

"It's got nothing to do with ability. I've seen Roberto Baggio miss penalties, Zico miss penalties and David Beckham miss penalties.

"I'm much more concerned about how we're going to face Italy, what problems they're going to cause us and what we have to do to try and win the game."

Source: PA