Hodgson happy with England spirit
England boss Roy Hodgson insists he has not had to take on a dressing room full of huge egos.
One of the concerns expressed about Hodgson when he was confirmed as Fabio Capello's successor was how he would handle the star names within the England camp. His unhappy experience at Liverpool did not bode well and the power said to be exerted at Chelsea by John Terry and company hinted at Hodgson inheriting an unmanageable gang.
Instead, life at England's Euro 2012 HQ in Krakow has been good. Hodgson said: "I feel on a roll because I've found it such an enjoyable job. I knew working with this group of players was going to be a privilege."
He added: "They have gone about their business in a professional way. When you take on a national team perhaps you take on more egos than you do in a club team. That hasn't been a factor so I suppose in that respect I'm feeling good about the job."
Hodgson, 64, is far too experienced to get drawn into the trap of believing England deserve a quarter-final place ahead of their final group game with co-hosts Ukraine.
Yet there is an element of acceptance that, in both the secure manner of their defending against France, and their sheer refusal to be beaten by Sweden, England have contributed something to this tournament that should not be dismissed lightly.
However, if England do make it through, the optimism that was so obviously absent in much of the build-up will be back ahead of one of those quarter-finals the Three Lions have had so much difficulty with down the years.
"It's not just England who haven't always performed when the expectations were heightened," said Hodgson.
"There's quite a few teams that have failed. It's a fact of life. We've come here with the England national team. We believe in ourselves and we want to do well.
"In some ways it's rather nice that people back home are hoping and even believing we can do well, and we're giving them something to dream about and cling onto."
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