Exclusive: Jimmy Bullard defends England squad

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Jimmy Bullard believes over-critical assessments of the England team will only have a negative impact on the side.

The Three Lions have faced a media barrage following their lacklustre 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland at Wembley. 

A Shane Long header had put Ireland ahead before Frank Lampard equalised shortly after, but for many, England's display lacked creativity as they played out a drab draw.

But Bullard thinks that the youthful England squad needs to be encouraged rather than criticised.

"We've got a younger squad now, and I think they've just got to be taught in the right way," he told GiveMeSport in an exclusive interview ahead of the match.

"Let's leave the pressure off them and stop giving them a hard time every five minutes. We need to give them confidence because we want them to do well, and they need a chance."

The former Wigan and Fulham midfielder was called up to the England squad on four separate occasions during his playing career but didn't make an appearance.

He retired in October 2012 after reoccurring knee problems prevented him from playing more than once a week.

The 34-year-old believes that the England squad has the ability to do well in the World Cup in Rio next summer if they can learn from the other nations.

"We've got a chance in Brazil, but we need to not think we must score every time we get the ball. We need to think about possession and look to dictate play as the best teams in the world do.

"Then, we'll be able to challenge because we've got the players," added Bullard.

England face a battle to qualify for the World Cup in Rio, currently sitting second in their qualification group behind Montenegro in Group H. They must win their remaining four fixtures if they're to guarantee automatic qualification for the 2014 World Cup.

England hope to emulate their victory at Wembley against Brazil in February when they travel to Rio to face the hosts of the next World Cup.


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