We have no inferiority complex, says Hodgson

History may be on Italy's side but England coach insists underdogs can have their day

Krakow

Roy Hodgson said yesterday he will tell his players that they should not consider themselves inferior to Italy when they meet the nation with four World Cup-winning stars on their shirt crests, and history on their side, in tomorrow's Euro 2012 quarter-final.

Click HERE to view 'England V Italy: All you need to know' graphic

England have never beaten a major football nation in a tournament knockout-round game staged outside of Wembley, a fact that Hodgson described yesterday as a "nasty statistic" that he would like to see erased from the Football Association's history. Eliminating Italy tomorrow in Kiev would change that but Hodgson said he would not add to the pressure on the players. "I'm not going to say: 'Oh, and by the way, you can be 'historic'.' Let's just win the game, really, and try and win the game."

Hodgson outlined a plan that would involve keeping Italy's playmaker Andrea Pirlo quiet, with one of the strikers detailed to come back and mark him, and said that he had not even begun to think about his penalty-takers, so focused was he on winning in normal time.

Hodgson said: "I'd be surprised if any of our players feel they go on to the field feeling inferior. The important thing is that the players feel neither inferior nor superior. They have to go out on to that field knowing what their jobs are. Their thought process has to be: 'If we go on to this field and do our job as well as we've done up to now, we're capable of winning this match'."

Hodgson added: "Cesare Prandelli is entitled to look at our team and say: 'Right, this won't be an easy game because England have got some good players.' Certainly, we go into the game knowing we have some good players. We're aware it's a tough task. We don't go into it thinking 'This is our game for the taking', but our chances are definitely at least 50-50. We're not underdogs in any way."

The England team will earn the FA a further €3m (£2.4m), on top of the €12.5m they have earned so far (with €8m for qualification, a win worth €1m and a draw worth €500,000) part of which will be paid into the players' bonus pool. Hodgson said that the money was "the last thing on the players' minds".

"I have no idea what it's worth," he said. "It would mean a lot more to us as footballers if we win it, in terms of when we retire from football in many years hence. It would be nice to see a medal hanging round our necks."

There were no injury concerns going into tomorrow's game, Hodgson said, although Joleon Lescott arrived later for training and some of the work on team shape was done with Phil Jagielka pairing the regular starter John Terry in the centre of defence. Hodgson said that Lescott was simply keeping to a routine that he follows with Manchester City.

In a rare interview last night, given to BBC Five Live, Ashley Cole, who will win his 98th cap tomorrow, said that reaching 100 caps was "what little kids' dreams are made of". He praised the spirit in the team, describing the side as "11 bulldogs who will never give up". He said: "We will always work for each other and basically die on the pitch for each other. So far it seems to be working."

Despite England's terrible record in knockout games, Hodgson said he had a good record of breaking hexes at his previous job with West Bromwich where, among other landmarks, his side finished above Aston Villa in the league for the first time in 33 years.

He added that England's players could not afford to believe they had already fulfilled requirements. "Whenever we lose in this tournament, it's going to be a sad day. Unfortunately, like the rest of the country, we dream as well. We dream of doing well and winning matches. There's no comfort in thinking there'll be kind words for us if we go out."

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
The veteran poverty campaigner Sir Bob Geldof issues a stark challenge to emerging economies at the Melbourne HIV/Aids conference
health
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich talk Penguins of Madagascar at Comic-Con
comic-con 2014Cumberbatch fans banned from asking about Sherlock at Comic-Con
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
filmGuardians Of The Galaxy should have taken itself a bit more seriously, writes Geoffrey Macnab
News
Sir Chris Hoy won six Olympic golds - in which four events?
news
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
News
Lars Ulrich of Metallica performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
people
Arts and Entertainment
film
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Extras
indybest
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform