England manager Roy Hodgson says he is considering using a sports psychologist at this summer’s World Cup to overcome the country’s woeful record in penalty shoot-outs.
England have lost on penalties in three of the past six World Cups and Hodgson may bring a sports psychologist to Brazil.
Penalties also cost England at the 1996, 2004 and 2012 European Championships and Hodgson wants to eradicate the feeling of failure in case his side go to another shoot-out in Brazil.
“We have some confident penalty-takers, but others less confident,” Hodgson told Sky Sports. “It’s how we get to them. We need to know they are as well prepared as they can be.” “It will be about their character, their confidence and their ability to block out the next morning’s headlines.
“If a psychologist can find a way to block that out, then we’d be very, very happy.” Hodgson will also be helped by British cycling guru, Sir Dave Brailsford, who will talk to the England players in the build-up to the World Cup.
Brailsford masterminded Britain’s cycling success at the 2012 Olympics and is seen as an expert in inspiring his teams to greater achievements.
“I bet the world is full of players who reflect back on tournaments they have had and have said: ‘I wish had done a bit more, I wish I had concentrated a bit more, I wish I had known then what I know now’,” Hodgson said.
“Maybe Brailsford can put a few thoughts in their head.”