Hodgson happy with expectations of team
Published : 20 Jun 2012 16:49:07
Roy Hodgson has taken a unique approach to managing expectation surrounding his England Euro 2012 hopefuls - he has chosen to embrace it.
Hodgson has not produced grandiose "we can win it" statements but opted to ride the growing wave of euphoria, believing it reinforced the spirit that has built up within his squad. It is a novel position, but it seems to be working.
"I don't mind the expectation getting greater," he told BBC Sport. "I am really pleased about it. We have been very buoyed by the news from home and the people we meet here. Everyone seems to be becoming an England fan again."
He added: "That is so important for us. If you are a football player or coach, you want people to appreciate you and get behind you, you want people to give you the feeling if I do have a bad game it is not going to be a catastrophe.
"There is more of that feeling and the players are responding. Long may that continue."
One of the reasons Poland's second city, Krakow, was chosen as England's base was because no matches are being played there.
An evening stroll may be beyond Rooney, who would probably be mobbed if he took a trip to the North Pole, but the vast majority of England's players could go for a wander around Krakow's magnificent market square without attracting a second glance, especially now Poland are out of the competition.
Hodgson played no part in organising this aspect of the trip, which was put together by Club England managing director Adrian Bevington and rubber-stamped by former manager Fabio Capello.
"I would choose to do the same thing as far as our base camp is concerned," Hodgson said. "The weather in Ukraine is a lot hotter than in Poland. In choosing Krakow, we had the advantage that we were alone there, in a city, and could do things on a daily basis."
That means a couple of training sessions prior to departure for Kiev, where they will face Italy in the quarter-finals on Sunday. As Italy also set up camp in Krakow, it will be interesting to gauge the general mood in both squads.