HomeSportSoccerWe want goals — Hodgson

We want goals — Hodgson


KIEV — Roy Hodgson has told England’s players he wants to see more ambition and aggression against Sweden in their second Euro 2012 match tonight.

In another match — the early game — France take on Ukraine in Donetsk as they seek maximum points, seeing the co-hosts won their opening match against Sweden.

The England manager was delighted with their disciplined, defensive display against France on Monday, but has addressed his squad and told them he wants to see a more fluent attacking performance. As Danny Welbeck said on Wednesday: “As a team we want to get forward and get more goals.”

Hodgson’s first team players had a recovery day on Tuesday and did very little training the next day, spending most of the morning in the gym before catching up with family and friends in the afternoon. Ashley Cole was first to leave training to protect an ankle problem he is nursing through the tournament, but the FA insist it will not prevent him from playing.

And despite the tough demands of the game against France, England will hope to take advantage of a Sweden squad that is in a state of civil war. Two factions have emerged in Erik Hamren’s camp since the opening defeat by Ukraine on Monday. One group of players is standing firmly behind captain and talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic and another is pledging support to former skipper Olof Mellberg.

The pair have not got along for some time, but it is understood their personal differences have now infiltrated the whole Swedish set-up during the most important week of the squad’s year.

Ibrahimovic has already rebuked the Sweden team for waving at their wives and girlfriends when they should have been warming down after Monday’s loss and was also involved that night in an argument with assistant manager Marcus Allback, a friend and former Aston Villa teammate of Mellberg.

The squad are also well aware of the hard task facing them. West Brom defender Jonas Olsson, who is expected to be recalled to the team, said: “It will be tough against England, no doubt about it. But they are a much weaker team without Rooney — a completely different team. “It is an advantage for us that they don’t have him, for sure.”

Recent Posts

Stories you will enjoy

Recommended reading