UEFA Euro 2012: Poland & Ukraine
England 0-0 Italy (Italy win 4-2 on penalties)-  Full manager comments



England head coach Roy Hodgson:  "A player's reputation should not be forged on a penalty shoot-out, their reputation should be forged on the four games and in those four games we have not lost. We stuck to our guns right until the end and the players should be very proud of what they did.  I have learnt a lot about the players and their determination and dedication to the task and the fact they are so keen to play for England. There were some heroic performances not only tonight but also in the previous three games. Anyone can miss a penalty. They were not nonchalant. Ashley Young's smashed against the bar and Ashley Cole's was well saved by Gianluigi Buffon. They were superior in regards to chances, but we were very resolute and gave everything when defending. When we took it to penalties I was rather hoping it would be our tournament to win on penalties. Certainly the practising didn't help us too much on this occasion. Maybe it's just fated at the moment that we don't win on penalties but I really can't fault any of the players for their effort. At the end we had lots of players out there running on empty, with very tired legs, fighting off cramp, but they kept us in there until the end and when you go to penalties you do have a chance, but unfortunately Italy took the chance and not us. Penalties has become an obsession for us in English football and in training the players have done extremely well. But you can't reproduce the tired legs. You can't reproduce the pressure. You can't reproduce the nervous tension. [The Italians] stood up to it better than we did. Pirlo's [dinked] penalty was the perfect example. I thought the chances were there for both teams but as the second half went on we tired very badly and they came at us again and again. We have lost and we have gone out without losing a game with our heads held high. I've been very happy with what I have seen from this group of players and how they have dealt with the demands of an England shirt. I do think we have got some very good young players coming through and this tournament has been very good for them."



Italy head coach Cesare Prandelli:  "He's (Pirlo) a star. He knew what he needed to do and he did it. Penalties are a lottery but I thought we deserved victory in the end. When Andrea Pirlo stepped up I was very calm. Around 80% of penalty shoot-outs go down to luck. Some players are used to this kind of pressure, some are just calm in these situations. We have to get ready for Germany now. They have had two more days' rest, but if we have the same approach and the same desire, I think we can compete. Germany and Spain are favourites here. We'll need everyone fit and fresh; we're going to go for it. A side that has that many shots on goal will win nine out of ten matches they play. There are lots of ways to win, but I feel that we are obliged to take this route because football is constantly in a state of evolution and, at the moment, the difference is being made by those sides who have the courage to push their defensive line high and are brave enough to keep taking the game to the opposition for 90 minutes. Mario did really well as a target man. He had five or six chances he would have preferred to have converted, but the fact he got into those positions pleased me and meant he was on his game. This is the first time that these guys have realised they have extraordinary capabilities. Once you have belief and know what you are doing then you have no fear, and when you are fearless you can play very well. We have a side of players who are growing in awareness from game to game and have the desire to measure themselves against the biggest sides in the game, by playing football. The most important factor that came out of the England match was that we showed we had the courage to keep playing the right way. We are quite a bit short because we only have very few days of recovery time. We need to put out a side that's athletically fit, because we will have to fight against Germany. If we play well, though, we have a chance. There is no such thing as an invincible side. Spain and Germany are truly very good, but we just need to stick to our task, and we must be meticulously prepared. Germany has that sense of knowing what they need to do. In Mezut Özil, they boast a player who has no defined role but who knows how to build a move from any position on the field. They are also physically strong and have players who have tasted international success at club level, so they are a side with the ingredients to go all the way. But we will study them closely and work on the few weak points they have."


Click here for match preview:  England 0-0 Italy

Click here for match report:  England 0-0 Italy

Click here for England's Euro 2012 tournament tracker


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