England winger Theo Walcott believes a day off will do the players some good ahead of their Euro 2012 quarter-final against Italy.
The Three Lions were not expecting to be playing in Sunday’s game, but France’s loss to Sweden meant Roy Hodgson’s side topped Group D after beating co-hosts Ukraine on Tuesday.
That win meant England avoided Spain and got an extra day to prepare for their quarter-final; though Italy have proven difficult to break don so far, they have been seen as the easier of the two opponents.
Walcott was happy to have the extra day topping the group gave the team and the Arsenal star believes it will be beneficial for the players to be able to take it easy for a bit.
“We need to relax, have a break. That extra day will help us,” he said in the Daily Star.
“We can spend time with our families and won’t be too fussed about it. We can relax a bit first then go from there.
“It was really important to win the group and we are playing in Kiev, which we are familiar with as we played Sweden there. So hopefully that will play its part.”
Despite his game-changing heroics against Sweden last Friday, Walcott was once again consigned to the substitutes bench in favour of James Milner.
He did come off the bench once more, but was not able to get into the game for the 20 minutes he appeared in.