International

England turn to shrink for SWC

2014-03-04 20:22
Roy Hodgson (Gallo Images)

Watford - England manager Roy Hodgson has revealed on Tuesday that his players will work with a renowned sports psychiatrist as they prepare for the World Cup finals in Brazil.

Dr Steven Peters has previously worked closely with the players at Liverpool, including England captain Steven Gerrard, and Hodgson believes that he will provide vital assistance.

"It is not just any psychologist," Hodgson told a press conference on Tuesday. "It is Dr Steve Peters, who is a very famous man in that area.

"He has a great CV of working in different sports and has been doing some work with Liverpool and (Liverpool manager) Brendan Rodgers, so Steve knows him well.

"It is something we have spoken about for some time but we wanted to get the right man. Luckily Brendan let me talk to Steve and he has accepted our invitations, so we are happy with that."

Hodgson also confirmed that Liverpool's Glen Johnson will win his 50th cap in Wednesday's friendly at home to Denmark, after Tottenham Hotspur's Kyle Walker had to withdraw from the squad with a groin injury.

"It is unfortunate, of course," Hodgson said of Walker's injury. "He hasn't played for the last two or three games and we were hoping he would recover, but he needs at least another week before he will be fit to play.

"He was with us last night. We had a 'Brazil' meeting to put our plans forward.

"There aren't that many defenders, so there is a good chance -- if you insist I tell you Glen Johnson will get his 50th cap at right-back -- then I can say yes."

Wednesday's game at Wembley Stadium will be Hodgson's last opportunity to run the rule over his players before he names his 23-man squad for the World Cup on May 13.

There are over three months until England open their World Cup campaign against Italy in Manaus, but Hodgson said that, after the team's get-together on Monday, their thoughts are already turning to Brazil.

"It (the meeting) was heavily focused on Brazil and it was the only time to do that," he said. "Part of the meeting was the obvious, about logistically what our plans are and where we are staying and for how long.

"What I said about the actual tournament was nothing spectacular, but I don't think it is right to go out and broadcast those things.

"I like to think that sometimes in the world of football you can do things in the comfort of your own home, a dressing room or meeting room.

"You can speak to players and tell them quite frankly and honestly -- like talking to family members -- what is on your mind without finding out the next day a newspaper or TV company has broadcast your every word."

Southampton left-back Luke Shaw, 18, could make his England debut on Wednesday, while Steven Caulker, Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling are among the fringe players hoping to impress.

With the World Cup now 100 days away, Gerrard has urged those players on the periphery of the squad to seize the opportunity to claim a place on the plane to Brazil.

"It is time to start getting excited," said the Liverpool midfielder.

"It will be here before we know it. It is time as a player you want to continue to impress the manager or grasp your opportunity to impress.

"That is the chance tomorrow, try and win the game and play well personally and for the team, and make sure the manager doesn't leave you out of the 23 (for the World Cup)."

Read more on:    2014 swc  |  roy hodgson  |  soccer
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