Wembley Stadium

Next Game

England v Lithuania

Friday, 27 March 2015, 19:45

European Qualifiers Group E

Celtic Park

Last Game

Scotland 1 - 3 England

Tuesday, 18 November 2014, 20:00

International Match

Hodgson: Fear plays a part

Roy Hodgson has admitted the pressure is on England but has urged his players to show the spirit of Rome 1997 when they take on Ukraine in Kiev.

Last Updated: 10/09/13 at 19:28 Post Comment

Roy Hodgson: Not hiding from the fact that England are under pressure against Uk

Roy Hodgson: Not hiding from the fact that England are under pressure against Uk

Defeat in the stadium where England's Euro 2012 dream ended against Italy last summer and the very real possibility of missing out on their first World Cup since 1994 will start to loom large.

A draw or victory, however, would put England in pole position to reach the tournament in Brazil and Hodgson is taking inspiration from past performances.

Looking back to a goalless draw against Italy 16 year ago which saw England through to the World Cup, Hodgson said: "There are similarities. I remember the game very well. I was there working for Sky that day with Bobby Robson.

"It was a tough task for England. We were up against it for a long period and it looked as if things weren't necessarily going to go our way.

"But we stuck together, dug ourselves in to get a good result and if we can do something similar I'll be as happy as I was leaving the Olympic Stadium in Rome that evening."

Hodgson added: "Of course there is pressure. We are getting closer to the situation where we are either going to achieve our goals and qualify for the World Cup or we are going to fail.

"You cannot get away from that. But what does discussing and admitting it do?

"What would you like me to say in answer to the question? I don't feel any pressure and I couldn't care less? Or I can't sleep a wink and I'm frightened to death we are going to lose?

"Fear does plays a part in our lives. It plays a part in people's lives outside football.

"If you've got ambition to do your job well the fear that things might not go the way you'd want them to is always there.

"Sometimes you've got to be bold enough to trust in what you can do."

Hodgson has confirmed there will be only one change to his line-up from the side that beat Moldova 4-0 on Friday, with Rickie Lambert continuing in attack in the absence of Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge.

Hodgson could not wish for Lambert to be in more confident mood after becoming the first England player to score in his first two games since Peter Taylor 37 years ago, but he also knows the run cannot last forever.

"I would like to play down Rickie for his own sake because it is almost a fairytale that you get selected at 31 having played in the lower leagues, then come on in your debut and score a fantastic centre-forward's goal," Hodgson said.

"On top of that you then play an important game, score one, set up two and look as though you have never been outside an England set-up in your life.

"That is some achievement.

"I am bit worried we are going to hang a bit too much on him (against Ukraine).

"The important thing is that he plays his part in the team and makes certain he doesn't let us down in any way.

"Who knows? He might surprise us and add a third to the fairytale, but if he doesn't he is still going to be a player England will get some use out of in the future."

Hodgson admits that Lambert has been underestimated throughout his career, including by him, but has paid tribute to the Southampton striker's character.

"Rickie's mentality must be very strong," Hodgson said.

"Surely he hasn't just become a talented footballer who has good touch on the ball, works hard for his team and has a good understanding.

"Yet people, including me, have been watching him play and passing him over.

"You have to be very strong mentally to suffer that many knock backs but still keep believing in yourself, to keep saying 'no-one is singing my praises but I am still a good player'."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

Fly1ngh1gh
Cup defeat shames Mourinho

G

reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

cheshire-gooner
16 Conclusions: FA Cup Fourth Round Weekend

A

pparently Chiles has blamed Twitter trolls for his exit. Proof that even the worst things can get great results at times.

cheshire-gooner
Adrian Chiles to leave ITV

Footer 365

Leyton Orient part company with sporting director Mauro Milanese

League One club Leyton Orient have parted company with sporting director Mauro Milanese, according to Sky sources.

International: Former Argentina, Boca, Barcelona, Villareal midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme retires

Former Argentina international Juan Roman Riquelme has retired from football at the age of 36.

Cambridge United chairman Dave Doggett to invest money from Manchester United tie in improving stadium

Cambridge United chairman Dave Doggett will invest revenue from the FA Cup replay at Manchester United in the stadium.

Mail Box

You're Man Utd, For Crying Out Loud!

Defending a 0-0 draw with Cambridge on the grounds that other teams lost to lower-league opposition is not befitting of Man United. We're inclined to agree with Mailboxers...

A Massive Mailbox On A Weekend Of Wonder

We unsurprisingly have plenty of mails on a wonderful FA Cup weekend, including thoughts on Palace, Van Gaal, Phil Jones, Chelsea, Mourinho and Yaya Toure...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company