Hodgson calls for penalty shootouts in friendlies

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Roy_Hodgson3 Associated Press England manager Roy Hodgson.

London – England coach Roy Hodgson believes using penalties to settle deadlocked friendlies could help reverse the country's dismal record in tournament shootouts.

England lost its sixth shootout from seven attempts to be knocked out of the European Championship quarterfinals in June by Italy.

Hodgson said his players need to overcome the “weight of failure” in shootouts ahead of the 2014 World Cup, so he is focusing part of his preparations on tackling the problem.

“Maybe in one of the friendly matches, if the game finishes in a draw, you should suggest to the opponents that, 'Let's finish it on a penalty shootout,'“ Hodgson told Sky Sports TV.

In 2013, England has already confirmed two friendlies against 2014 World Cup host Brazil, as well as fixtures against Scotland and Ireland.

“There is a lot more relevance to a (shootout) competition at the end of a friendly in front of a big crowd than there is when you are taking penalties day after day in training and watching players quite happily whizz them into the back of the net,” Hodgson said.

England is second in its World Cup qualifying group, two points behind Montenegro with six matches remaining. – Sapa-AP


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