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Bernstein hails Hodgson reign

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 17 Jun 2012

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Football Association chairman David Bernstein has hailed the start made by Roy Hodgson as England national team manager.

Hodgson is yet to lose in four games as Three Lions boss, and his side need just a point from their final group match against Ukraine to advance to the quarter-finals of Euro 2012.

And Bernstein said the laidback approach from the former Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion manager has fostered a positive vibe in the England camp.

“It is a little more relaxed but he (Hodgson) is a very focused person. You don’t get his success in management without being very focused and extremely professional,” Bernstein told Sky Sports News.

“People are working and training hard and there is a real focus, but there is a general background of a good, relaxed feel.”

Following reports of players being bored in their reclusive Rustenberg base during a dismal 2010 World Cup campaign, England have instead opted for a luxury hotel in the centre of Krakow in Poland.

And despite some doubts over travel – with all of their group games being played in Ukraine – Bernstein believes the decision was correct.

“Doing things the way we have done them and organising things the way we have, being in a fabulous city like Krakow, I think we’ve got the organisation pretty spot on,” the FA boss continued.

“There is a good easy feel about the place and I think the players respond to it. We had a quiz night last night which was real fun.

“It is the sort of background you want to get the maximum out of the players when they get on the pitch.

“I have had a word with two or three of those who have done an awful lot of work, particularly the midfield players, and even yesterday they were feeling good and they have another three days to recover.

“Every team is playing the same number of matches so it is a level playing field.”

Despite the rather haphazard preparations for the tournament following Fabio Capello’s resignation and a number of injury blows, the national side now only need one point to ensure qualification to the knockout stages.

A win over Ukraine would give the Three Lions a chance of finishing top of the group but Bernstein is approaching the game in Donesk with caution.

“I am not going to forecast results. It is an away match for us in front of a very passionate crowd, so it certainly won’t be easy,” he said.

“I am very happy we have four points and we need one more, but I think we need to go for the win.”

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