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Hodgson An Optimist ... Or Naive?
Published : 23 Jun 2012 11:29:41Rss feed
Perhaps some should remind Roy Hodgson of England's unhappy record in penalty shoot-outs, including elimination from the 1990, 1998 and 2006 World Cups, in addition to Euro 2004.
The England manager says he has not given any thought to the likelihood of Sunday's Euro 2012 quarter-final against Italy being decided by penalties.
Roy Hodgson: "I really haven't decided on penalty takers so there's no point in speculating.
"First of all I don't know the game's going to penalties, and secondly who'll be on the field after the 120 minutes.
"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?
"It's a negative thought and 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.
"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 to win the game."
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