10 Jun 2012

Hodgson confident ahead of France Euro 2012 clash

As England move to Donestsk before their vital Euro 2012 opening game against France, manager Roy Hodgson assures supporters the flight from Poland to Ukraine has not affected the team.

Ahead of England’s opening game in Euro 2012 on Monday, manager Roy Hodgson has said he does not believe his 23-man squad will be affected by the flight from their base in Krakow, Poland, to Donetsk, where the match against France will take place.

“We’ve got the rest of this evening and all of tomorrow to prepare for the game in the usual circumstances we would have,” he told journalists on Sunday afternoon.

“I’m perfectly happy with our arrangements. I personally like being in Krakow – I like our training facilities there. And I’m convinced our performances will not suffer by having to make a short plane journey.”

Asked by a French reporter whether England was a great football nation or not, Hodgson pointed out that professional football in England had begun as far back as the 1860s.

“During the centuries I don’t think we could ever be accused of not being a very serious and even a top football nation,” he said.

And he noted wryly that “we’re all very, very much aware” of the fact that England has not won a major football tournament since 1966.