Hodgson expects confident England
England manager Roy Hodgson is aware his players are under pressure to perform at Euro 2012 but is desperate for them to take 'confidence and self-belief' into the tournament.
The former West Brom boss has inherited a side that has failed to live up to expectations in recent years, with the quarter-final exit to Germany in the 2010 World Cup a particularly humbling moment for a side that boasted several world-class players.
Sections of the media have been downbeat about England's chances heading into the tournament and, while Hodgson admits that could ultimately be a positive thing, he wants his players to trust themselves. When asked whether low expectations helped or hindered the squad, Hodgson told BBC TV's Football Focus: "It's only a good thing."
He added: "Football players are under enormous pressure.
"We, as coaches, put them under enormous pressure - we want a lot from them - because we can only succeed when they succeed.
"The nation puts them under pressure.
"I would expect the players to have confidence and self-belief and if they haven't, I'll be saying to them: "Why haven't you got self-belief? If I was as good as you, I'd be very, very confident"."
Hodgson is relishing the start of England's campaign, which gets under way against France on Monday before further fixtures against Sweden and co-hosts Ukraine, but knows he will not be able to enjoy the tournament unless he is in charge of a winning side.
"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "I'm determined to enjoy it as best as we can.
"But of course to really enjoy it, you've got to win."
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