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Gerrard backs Hodgson influence

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 17 Jun 2012

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Steven Gerrard has hailed Roy Hodgson’s positive influence on the England dressing room as they prepare for co-hosts Ukraine on Tuesday.

Under Fabio Capello, the Three Lions were widely criticised for their performances in the 2010 World Cup, but the Italian has since resigned from his post after clashing with the FA over the issue of John Terry’s captaincy.

And Gerrard, who was recently installed the Chelsea defender’s successor, feels that England have a far better team spirit at Euro 2012 under Hodgson, the former Real Madrid coach’s replacement.

“I think together as a team at times it feels like we are unbreakable,” he told reporters.

“There is a lot of belief and confidence in the dressing room – very different from South Africa.”

England took a huge step towards qualifying for the quarter-finals of the European Championship with a 3-2 win against Sweden on Friday.

And, despite being pleased with the character his side showed, Gerrard went on to warn his team-mates that there can be no repeat of the defensive mistakes that led to their opponents’ goals when they face Ukraine.

“There was no way I wanted to put myself through that, never mind the country,” Gerrard said.

“We showed a lot of character but the disappointing thing is I felt as if we shouldn’t have needed to, after we went a goal up and really controlled the first half.

“We lost concentration on two set-pieces and were punished. I thought in our general play we were very good. At this level we have got to iron out those mistakes.”

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