Euro 2012: England can be a threat under Hodgson – Hargreaves

Owen Hargreaves believes England can thrive at Euro 2012 if Roy Hodgson finds the right balance in his first-team

Owen Hargreaves believes England can be a threat at Euro 2012 if Roy Hodgson can get the balance of his side right.

The 31-year-old is currently a free agent after being released by Premier League champions Manchester City at the end of the season.

Hargreaves made 42 appearances for the national team, and he was named England’s Player of the World Cup in 2006, before crippling injuries hampered the midfielder’s career over the past four years.

“Roy Hodgson’s going to make the team difficult to beat,” Hargreaves said.

“We’ve got a great goalkeeper in Joe Hart who will keep us in every game regardless. We’ve got strength in the back four and midfield.

“It’s more about finding the players who balance the team correctly, because if we get the balance right, it can be, not the best side we’ve had in the past 10 years, but a side that can be a threat.

“We’re a little bit under the radar, because we don’t have the dominant individuals that we used to have, and people aren’t expecting as much.”

Hargreaves, who was part of Sven-Goran Eriksson’s squad at Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup, advised England’s current crop to enjoy the experience and to avoid becoming too tense despite the intense pressure and scrutiny surrounding the national team.

“All games are big, especially at this stage,” added Hargreaves.

“People forget that in the end it is three group games, 90 minutes, and they are only football games.

“Obviously, there is a lot of opponents and a lot of people watching, but England need to relax, and enjoy the occasion.

“When you put too much emphasis on it, people get cramped and don’t play to their ability.

“So hopefully the guys are relaxed, trust in their abilities, and if they do that, then we should win the game.”

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