Former England defender Gary Neville has praised Roy Hodgson for giving his players a proper break before Euro 2012.
Hodgson – who has previously managed Switzerland and Finland – was appointed as England’s new manager on May 1, replacing Fabio Capello.
With expectations low after a series of failures at major tournaments, Neville believes the fact Hodgson has given the players a lengthy rest ahead of Euro 2012 should be praised.
“One thing that Roy Hodgson has done – it’s to be commended and no manager has ever done (it) – is given the players a longer break at the end of the season than any manager has ever given them,” Neville said.
“That’s being respectful of the fact that they need a break at the end of a long season. They’ve had 10 days’ minimum, some of them. To have two weeks’ rest is something that is to be commended and something that’s brave.
“He’s an experienced manager who has taken teams to tournaments before and understands the fact that you need to rest players.
“You can’t just keep grinding them into the floor, training them every single day. And some people do that.”
Neville also urged the young players in the England squad for Euro 2012 to make the most of their opportunity in Poland and Ukraine.
“Enjoy it and take a chance – and make a name for yourself,” said Neville.
“We’ve seen many players do that over the years. And I think that they’re the main things, really: listen, learn, work hard, go for it, be free, express yourself, do what you’ve been doing to get you into this position in the first place.
“You’ve got the most incredible opportunity, where the whole world is watching you go and make a name.”
England open their campaign Euro 2012 with a Group D meeting against France on June 11 in Donetsk.
Midfielder Frank Lampard is in doubt for the tournament after injuring his thigh in training on Wednesday.
Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson is on standby to replace the Chelsea man if he doesn’t recover.