Football

England could use psychologist to help penalty woes

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England boss Roy Hodgson has admitted that he is considering hiring a sports psychologist in order to help the national side overcome their penalty hoodoo.

The three lions' were eliminated from the European Championships in 2012 by Italy on penalty kicks - under Hodgson's stewardship - and have been knocked out of a major competition by failing to deliver from 12-yards, six times out of the past seven tournaments.

The 66 year old names his squad to face Denmark in a friendly at Wembley later this week, and says penalty practice is a must. England go to a pre-tournament training camp in Lisbon before the World Cup, but acknowledged a psychologist could also help the 1966 winners' chances of success.

Speaking to Sky Sports' Footballers' Football Show, he said: "We are considering the possibility of inviting someone with us but it would have to be someone accepted by the group.

"I'm not sure shipping someone in to give the players a lecture will work. It will have to be somebody who gets to know them.

"I think there's a possibility that we should just be encouraging players to know their penalty, to practise their penalty.

"We might have one or two very confident penalty-takers, but there are others who are a bit less confident and it's a matter of how we get to them.

"We need to know that when they go up they are as well prepared as they can be.

"It will be about their character, their confidence and their ability to block out the next morning's headlines.

"If a psychologist can find a way to block that out then we'd be very, very happy."

England kick off their World Cup campaign in Manaus on the 14th June 2014. Hodgson confessed before the draw was made, that Manaus would be his least preferable location due to the crippling humidity that will affect his players in the amazon.

They have a chance to avenge their penalty shootout defeat to Italy, who are their opponents for their first match. England will be looking to win the World Cup for the first time in 48 years. 

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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