Euro 2012: England taking penalty practice seriously – Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson says England are practising penalties in the hope it could make a "big difference" if the Italy game finishes all square

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Roy Hodgson's side made it out of Group D unbeaten PA Photos

roy hodgson

Roy Hodgson says England will now take their post-training penalty practice more seriously but admits nothing can emulate the pressure of a real shootout.

Hodgson’s men set up their quarter-final showdown with Italy courtesy of an edgy 1-0 victory over co-hosts Ukraine on Tuesday.

The Three Lions have been eliminated from five major tournaments on penalties in the last 22 years – and the England boss is hoping the extra practice will pay dividends if Sunday’s clash finishes all square.

“We have used the time after training sessions to regularly practise and we’ll obviously take it even more seriously now,” said Hodgson.

“You hope one day it will make a big difference.

“But you can practise penalty shoot-outs until the cows come home, it’s really your composure, your confidence, your ability to really block everything out and forget the occasion that means you score or don’t.

“Sometimes we’ve seen the best players miss and the ones you think are not penalty-takers are the ones that smash them in.”

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