Hodgson plans England changes

25 September 2012 06:19

Roy Hodgson has acknowledged that England must change their style of play if they are to be competitive on the international stage.

Much has been made of the team's lack of technical know-how which was highlighted in their performances at Euro 2012.

Speaking at the UEFA conference for European national team coaches in Poland, Hodgson told www.thefa.com: "England must maintain possession of the ball better and we have to work hard at international and club level. We know this."

While England managed to reach the quarter-finals where they forced Italy to a penalty shoot-out, they had been outplayed by Cesare Prandelli's side who went on to reach the final before being beaten by Spain.

England's inability to consistently keep possession of the ball has been a pressing concern, and manager Hodgson claims it is imperative they learn that skill if they are to make any impact at tournaments.

He added: "In the matches since the Euros, particularly against Italy and Moldova, I think we have already demonstrated how we would like our national team football philosophy to be."

"The coaching staff and I are fully focused on how we intend to go forward and improve our play.

"We can't ignore the trends and it was very interesting to hear what semi-final coaches had to say about possession."

He added: "England must also show that we are capable of seizing the initiative and dominating games in tournaments rather than holding out against opponents and hitting on the counter-attack.

"In the quarter-final against Italy it was never our intention to sit back but perhaps fatigue set in. Don't forget we went into the tournament without several key midfielders due to injuries and therefore had a lack of experienced international players on the bench in that match."

Source: PA