Sports World Cup: We will stop Andrea Pirlo and Italy – Roy Hodgson


Titilope Adeuja

Pirlo.JPG England national team manager, Roy Hodgson has confirmed that the current English team is fully capable of stopping the threat of Italian playmaker, Andrea Pirlo at the Brazil 2014 World Cup.

Citing fatigue as a major concern for the loss of the same tie to Italy at the Euro 2012 which England lost on penalties after 120 minutes, Hodgson stated that the energy in the camp will help the boys when they open their group campaign against Italy in Brazil.

"How are we going to stop Pirlo? What we're going to do first of all is play better this time than we did then.

"The Italy game was actually our worst performance of that tournament and all the players would agree with me. We didn't think we played anywhere near as well as we could.

"Against a tiring team Pirlo had a very good game because he's a very good player. But we did show incredible character, incredible determination and incredible fight because, although we weren't playing well, we kept a very strong Italian team at bay for 120 minutes and actually gave ourselves a chance of winning on penalties.

"It was a stage of the tournament when we were weary. Our squad was quite small. Steven Gerrard was injured. Both he and Scott Parker in normal circumstances might have come off at half-time.

"What are we going to do this time? First we will play a lot better and we will play with more energy because we will have more energy as it will be the first game in the tournament. We will be even more compact."

He further assured of the attacking potentials of the Three Lions which would cause problems for the defence of the Azzurris.

"We're also going to make certain that Italy have a lot more to concern themselves about with our attacking play, because one of the problems we had in that game (in Euro 2012) is that we weren't functioning well as an attacking unit.

"One of our plans this time is to make certain we do a lot more attacking and that Italy find themselves wondering what they're going to do about people such as Steven Gerrard or Wayne Rooney."
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