Tag Archives: luton

League One round-up: Swindon go top but Fabrizio Piccareta says he will resign in the morning

Piccareta claims he and Swindon's backroom staff will resign on Wednesday despite Robins going top

PUBLISHED:

22:38 GMT, 19 February 2013

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UPDATED:

23:22 GMT, 19 February 2013

Swindon assistant manager Fabrizio Piccareta claimed the club's backroom staff were all set to resign in the morning despite a 3-1 victory over Tranmere taking them to the top of League One.

Manager Paolo Di Canio quit yesterday citing off-field problems at the club and Piccareta revealed after the victory at Prenton Park the technical staff would follow suit.

Piccareta, who was put in charge for the trip to Tranmere, was adamant it would be his final game.

Going: Swindon beat Tranmere 3-1 but Fabrizio Piccareta will resign tomorrow

Going: Swindon beat Tranmere 3-1 but Fabrizio Piccareta will resign tomorrow

'After this game, this fantastic game
that everyone has witnessed, I want to tell you that this is our last
game as technical staff of this football club,' said Piccareta

'I want to highlight one thing. This
achievement that this fantastic team got tonight, so top of the league
and this victory has a name, and a surname and that is Paolo Di Canio.

'People must know that yesterday he
released a statement at 7pm, but until 5pm yesterday afternoon we were
together preparing for this game as usual, in the best professional way.

'And I just spoke to Paolo because he
just rang me to congratulate us and the players because he is absolutely
happy of what his team has achieved.'

Slow start: All the goals came in the second half at Prenton Park

Slow start: All the goals came in the second half at Prenton Park

He added: 'From tomorrow, I don't know what is
going on with Swindon Town Football Club but this was a very important
moment to say thanks to the Swindon Town fans that are amazing.

'Tomorrow morning we will resign
because we are here for Paolo Di Canio and we will follow Paolo Di Canio
everywhere. Even if he will coach Real Madrid or Luton Town.'

All the goals came in the second half at Prenton Park.

James Collins hit a fierce long-range opener for the Robins (48) with Gary Roberts (71) firing into the top left-hand corner of the goal from 25 yards to double the lead.

Gone: Paulo Di Canio resigned as Swindon Town manager on Monday

Gone: Paulo Di Canio resigned as Swindon Town manager on Monday

Tranmere pulled one back seven minutes later when Donervon Daniels slotted home from close range but any hopes of a comeback were dashed by Roberts' stunning long-range strike at the death.

In the other League One match, Oldham climbed out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 win at Stevenage.

James Dunne gave Stevenage a ninth-minute lead but the Latics hit back through Dean Furman (46) and a James Tarkowski header (60).

Harry Redknapp blasts QPR players after losing to MK Dons in FA Cup

We were a disgrace: Redknapp blasts QPR's big-name failures for abysmal display against MK Dons

By
Ian Stafford

PUBLISHED:

19:27 GMT, 26 January 2013

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UPDATED:

19:36 GMT, 26 January 2013

A furious and disbelieving Harry Redknapp surveyed the wreckage of QPR’s FA Cup humiliation at the hands of MK Dons and slammed the big stars who failed him.

Redknapp watched as his side — bottom of the Premier League — were crushed 4-2 at home by a team two divisions beneath them. In the day’s other fourth-round shock, Blue Square Premier League Luton Town beat Norwich 1-0 at Carrow Road.

‘I have big-name players who believe they’re better than they are, who bang on my door insisting that I should play them,’ said 65-year-old Redknapp.

Miserable: Harry Redknapp looks on as QPR are tonked by MK Dons

Miserable: Harry Redknapp looks on as QPR are tonked by MK Dons

‘Well, they had their chance and they
blew it. I made nine changes from the team who drew at West Ham last
week.

'This was a team that had gone five games unbeaten, that had won at
Chelsea and drawn against Spurs and West Ham, but even though I made
lots of changes I believed, absolutely, it was good enough to beat the
MK Dons.

‘I wanted to win, don’t get me wrong.
Look at the players I picked. We’re talking about signings from
Manchester United and Real Madrid in Park, Fabio and Granero.

'We’re talking about experienced pros
like Ferdinand, an England goalkeeper in Green. Surely they should have
been too good for a team two divisions below them.

'I thought we weren’t too bad up to
half time, but conceded two dreadfully sloppy goals. When we conceded
the third, which was offside, our confidence went completely.

'You can’t give away two such sloppy goals as we did. We created a mountain to climb that only got higher.

‘What it shows is that the result and
the performance answer a lot of questions. Not to me. I already knew
the answers, but to those who wanted to see certain players picked. They gave the answers.

‘I’m going to need to shift some
players out of this club this week and get a few in. If I can do that
we’ll stay in the Premier League. I’ll have the right hump now. I’ll be
no use to anybody.’

He does, however, have to find a way to lift his team before the visit of Manchester City on Tuesday night.

Good day out: MK Dons fans were delighted as their team powered through

Good day out: MK Dons fans were delighted as their team powered through

As bad as QPR were, MK Dons deserved a lot of credit for the way they frustrated their Premier League opponents.

A club-record away following of 3,155
headed to west London to witness a performance that filled manager Karl
Robinson with pride.

'We felt we could come here and get a result,' the Dons boss said. 'I understand the gulf in teams and I respect that as well.

'QPR
is a wonderful football club with one of the best English managers in a
long, long time so you always know the difficulties it that is going to
possess.

Let downs: Redknapp analysed where his squad had come from - Estenan Granero, for example, from Real Madrid

Let downs: Redknapp analysed where his squad had come from – Estenan Granero, for example, from Real Madrid

'It is nice to make it through. The players were fantastic and I thought they deserved the result.

'It was difficult for us in the first half. We had to sit off them and they have some top, top players.

'I thought the way they responded to going in front at a Premier League ground was great. They played with no fear.

'Getting into the fourth round was a little bit of history for us and now the fifth round makes it a little more special.'

FA Cup shocks continue as Dorchester beat Plymouth

FA Cup shocks continue as Dorchester beat Plymouth and Altrincham hold Burton

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UPDATED:

19:44 GMT, 4 November 2012

Jake Gosling's second-half strike helped non-league Dorchester produce another FA Cup upset this weekend as they reached the second round with a 1-0 win over npower League Two side Plymouth.

The Pilgrims got off to the worst possible start when Conor Hourihane picked up two yellow cards inside the opening 10 minutes.

Exeter loanee Gosling, released by Plymouth aged 16, converted from close range after a left-wing cross had been flicked on by long-serving defender Mark Jermyn to book the Blue Square Bet South side a second round clash at fellow non-league outfits Luton or Nuneaton.

Happy days: Dorchester Town celebrate their shock win over Plymouth

Happy days: Dorchester Town celebrate their shock win over Plymouth

Only a late strike from Calvin Zola prevented another surprise result as Burton snatched a 3-3 draw at home to Blue Square Bet North side Altrincham.

Albion are play-off contenders in League Two and although Altrincham striker Damian Reeves saw his fourth-minute spot-kick saved, they still took a 2-0 half-time lead thanks to Carl Rodgers' strike and Nathan Stanton's own goal.

Zander Diamond halved the deficit and Robbie Weir missed a penalty before Jacques Maghoma levelled proceedings.

Lucky escape: Zander Diamond scores Burton's second goal against Altrincham

Lucky escape: Zander Diamond scores Burton's second goal against Altrincham

Burton still looked to be heading out when defender Damien McCrory put through his own net in the 86th minute but Zola spared their blushes to ensure a replay, with Crewe awaiting the winners.

Gloucester City and Leyton Orient's clash as well as Braintree's encounter with League One leaders Tranmere both fell foul of the weather, with Alfreton and Chesterfield awaiting the respective winners.

New dates for the rearranged games are yet to be announced.

Milija Aleksic dies: Tottenham mourn former goalkeeper"s death, aged 61

Tottenham mourn sudden death of FA Cup winning goalkeeper Aleksic, aged 61

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UPDATED:

11:15 GMT, 19 October 2012

Former Luton and Tottenham goalkeeper Milija Aleksic has died, aged 61.

Aleksic, who played for the Hatters from 1976-78 before moving to White Hart Lane, was in goal for Spurs' 1981 FA Cup-winning team.

A statement on Tottenham's official website read: 'We were shocked to learn of the passing of Milija Aleksic, who passed away suddenly in Johannesburg on Wednesday night.

Mourning: Former Tottenham goalkeeper Milija Aleksic, who won the FA Cup in 1981, has died aged 61

Sad news: Former Tottenham goalkeeper Milija Aleksic, who won the FA Cup at Wembley in 1981 (below), has died aged 61

Aleksic (bottom R) was part of the 1981 FA Cup-winning Tottenham side

Aleksic (bottom R) was part of the 1981 FA Cup-winning Tottenham side

'Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.'

Born in Newcastle-under-Lyme to a Yugoslavian father, Aleksic's career started at Port Vale in 1968 and also included a stint at Plymouth.

He also had spells with non-league Eastwood and Stafford Rangers – winning the 1972 FA Trophy with the latter.

Wenger puts faith in Mannone as Arsenal head to France without first choice Szczesny

Wenger puts faith in Mannone as Arsenal head to France without first choice Szczesny

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UPDATED:

16:32 GMT, 17 September 2012

Arsene Wenger has every confidence Vito Mannone holds the 'mental strength' to put his Champions League nightmare behind him when he returns to top-flight European action in Montpellier on Tuesday.

Wojciech Szczesny suffered an ankle injury in the 6-1 Barclays Premier League win over Southampton at the weekend, which was his first game back since a rib problem.

The Italian had kept two clean sheets, at Stoke and Liverpool, deputising for the Poland international earlier this season – in marked contrast to his last European performance for the Gunners, when he produced a calamitous display in the defeat at Olympiacos last December.

Deputising: Vito Mannone is preparing to fill in for the injured Wojciech Szczesny in Arsenal's Champions League tie against Montpellier on Tuesday

Deputising: Vito Mannone is preparing to fill in for the injured Wojciech Szczesny in Arsenal's Champions League tie against Montpellier on Tuesday

A productive four-month loan spell at npower Championship side Hull built up the confidence of the 24-year-old once again, though, and Wenger has no issue with throwing Mannone straight into the action at Stade La Mosson.

'Vito is very close (to the Arsenal number one jersey), and he gets another opportunity now,' said Wenger as the squad prepared to leave Luton Airport on Monday afternoon, with midfielder Abou Diaby fit again following a hip problem.

'He has belief and he has the mental strength to deal with that.'

With Lukasz Fabianski also sidelined because of injury, and Argentina youth international Damian Martinez not on Arsenal's Champions League squad list, 21-year-old Academy product James Shea will take an unexpected place on the bench.

Assured: Mannone is put through his paces after Wenger gave him a vote of confidence

Assured: Mannone is put through his paces after Wenger gave him a vote of confidence for the match in France

'He was on the list as goalkeeper number five at the beginning of the season and now he is number two. That shows you how quickly football can change,' said Wenger.

Szczesny's error saw Arsenal concede a first Premier League goal of the season against Southampton on Saturday.

While not putting that down to any fitness issue, Wenger accepts it would have perhaps been better to rest the Pole again after he suffered the new problem during the warm-up.

'He says not, but of course we had a question in our minds before the game: do we change him or not We decided to leave him on – maybe it was a mistake,' Wenger said.

Missing out: Wojciech Szczesny injured his ankle against Southampton at the weekend

Missing out: Wojciech Szczesny injured his ankle against Southampton at the weekend

Arsenal may be Champions League veterans, now playing in the elite European competition for the 15th straight campaign, and Montpellier only just starting out having won the Ligue 1 title in May, but Wenger warned against any complacency tomorrow night when taking on a side who have lost three from the first five domestic games.

'What they did [last season] is a miracle because I think three years ago they were in the second division and one point away from relegation to division three,' he said.

'It is difficult to know why they have not started well this season. Maybe because they were champions and now they are the team to beat.

'People have maybe a little less urgency and everybody is a bit more cautious against them.'

Return ticket: Olivier Giroud returns to his former club Montpellier on Tuesday night

Return ticket: Olivier Giroud returns to his former club Montpellier on Tuesday night

Olivier Giroud netted 21 goals for Montpellier to be the joint-top scorer in Ligue 1, which prompted Arsenal to make a 12million move for him in the summer.

The France international has yet to score for his new club and Wenger is aware of the added pressure tomorrow's fixture will bring.

'It can be positive, but it can be negative and it is never easy to handle,' he said.

'No matter what you do, the less time you give the player to think about it, the better it is.'

Wenger will watch from the stands tomorrow night as he serves the first of a three-match UEFA touchline ban, imposed after he confronted referee Damir Skomina in the wake of last season's Champions League defeat by AC Milan – his third sanction in the space of a year.

Former Arsenal centre-half Steve Bould is set to take charge of the team, having become assistant manager this season following Pat Rice's retirement.

Wenger said: 'Steve is doing his job very well.

'Don't forget that the basis of our team is a very offensive philosophy so sometimes, if we concede goals in the future, it will not be Steve Bould's fault.

'It will only be a consequence of the way we see football.'

Wenger added: 'Steve is a very similar coach to how he played – clear in his mind, well focused and intelligent.'

Euro 2012: Roy Hodgson must rebuild England team

You've got to change, Roy… two years to rebuild England team for Brazil 2014 test

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UPDATED:

00:26 GMT, 26 June 2012

With his tie pulled down and his top button undone, Roy Hodgson had the look of a man who had endured a rough night.

But in his final press conference before returning home with an England side chastened by their European Championship defeat by Italy, Hodgson at least acknowledged that a period of radical change now had to follow.

He spoke of a ‘revolution’, of a younger, fresher, more attacking England come the friendlier meeting they will have with Andrea Pirlo and his colleagues in Switzerland in August.

Home coming: Wayne Rooney touches down at Luton airport after England's quarter-final Euro 2012 exit

Home coming: Wayne Rooney touches down at Luton airport after England's quarter-final Euro 2012 exit

Job to be done: Roy Hodgson must prepare his England side for the World Cup qualifiers

Job to be done: Roy Hodgson must prepare his England side for the World Cup qualifiers

MATT LAWTON'S TEAM FOR 2014

(4-2-3-1): Joe Hart; Kyle Walker, Gary Cahill, Joleon Lescott, Ashley Cole; Jack Wilshere, Steven Gerrard, Theo Walcott, Wayne Rooney, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain' Danny Welbeck

Hodgson did not dwell too long on the specifics, and he was in no mood to declare an end to the international careers of his older players. He quite rightly acknowledged that some of the more senior members of his squad, in particular Steven Gerrard and John Terry, had been among England’s finest performers here in eastern Europe.

Terry’s obvious lack of pace does force England to defend deep and on the international stage that can create its own problems. But he deserves credit for the way he played at Euro 2012, not least against Italy.

Clearly, however, Hodgson has a vision that includes players such as Jack Wilshere and Kyle Walker, Gary Cahill and Chris Smalling. Not to mention more attacking flair in the form of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott, who would have taken England’s fifth penalty in Kiev had the quarter-final not already been settled by cooler, more clinical opponents.

On their way home: Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing head down the stairs at Luton airport

On their way home: Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing head down the stairs at Luton airport

Disappointed: Martin Kelly and goalkeeper Joe Hart

Disappointed: Martin Kelly and goalkeeper Joe Hart

‘With regards to the August 15 friendly, I think you will definitely see some revolution there because that game is the ideal opportunity for me to look at some players who weren’t with us here,’ said the England manager.

‘I need to see if they can add to the quality of our team. After that, of course, we go on to the September qualifiers and we have to mix the two together. But the question then is whether we can improve the quality within our team.’

After taking the next few weeks off, Hodgson will head to Brazil for what the Football Association like to call a fact-finding mission.

They will look at possible training bases for the 2014 World Cup, and look to finalise plans for two friendlies in Brazil in the first week of June next year, against the hosts and Uruguay. It will introduce England’s players to the South American environment a year ahead of the tournament.

Crashing out: But Hodgson believes England have reasons to be optimistic

Crashing out: But Hodgson believes England have reasons to be optimistic

Euro 2012

Euro 2012 email button

There is also a possible clash with the USA in Florida en route to Brazil in 2014 in the pipeline, the FA acting like every federation with serious designs on one of the 32 World Cup places.

But such preparation is only part of the picture, and after what happened in Kiev on Sunday night the less important of the two main challenges the FA face before the next major tournament.

Hodgson has to qualify first, of course. But by the summer of 2014 he also has to deliver a team more capable of dealing with the strongest nations in the competition. That is Hodgson’s task moving on from Euro 2012; the task by which he will ultimately be measured as an England manager.

The contest with Italy exposed some all too familiar deficiencies in the England side. Not least an alarming inability to retain possession and pass the ball in a manner the Italians made look easy. We did not need the pages of statistics UEFA produced afterwards to tell us that, even if the fact that Joe Hart completed more passes than any team-mate told its own story.

Facing the media: Hodgson and a visibly upset Gerrard speak to the press on Monday afternoon

Facing the media: Hodgson and a visibly upset Gerrard speak to the press on Monday afternoon

In the spotlight: Hodgson and Co have flown back from the Euros after crashing out at the last-eight stage

In the spotlight: Hodgson and Co have flown back from the Euros after crashing out at the last-eight stage

It was there for everyone to see, and a deeply disappointed Gerrard — so impressive as a captain at this tournament — was the first to recognise it remains a ‘fundamental’ problem.

‘I’m sure it’s one of the biggest points of this tournament that the management and the coaching staff will have to look into,’ he said. ‘They will have to analyse why we aren’t keeping the ball better, especially at this level because it’s fundamental; it’s key if you want to beat the big teams in these tournaments.

‘I don’t look at stats too much, unless something’s sticking out so obviously. In this tournament we have come up short as far as possession is concerned.’

Hodgson should take some positives from this tournament. Surviving until the 28th of 31 games, as one FA official highlighted, might be stretching it a bit. But they did top a group that included France and emerged unbeaten in 90 minutes. That said, New Zealand managed to do that in the last World Cup.

Ear we go home: Young departed England's Krakow base on Monday afternoon

Ear we go home: Young departed England's Krakow base on Monday afternoon

But for all the success Hodgson has had in the short time he has been in charge — in organising the team as well as he did and creating unity among the players — the lack of possession was alarming.

Over the four games they averaged just 39 per cent; England’s worst figures in a tournament since 1980 and better only than Greece and Ireland this month.

While Hodgson was more reluctant to acknowledge the statistics, he too expressed some frustration. ‘Last night we gave the ball away far too often in areas where we didn’t expect to,’ he said.

The FA have not returned to the dark ages. Work is being done to challenge the culture of English football. The National Football Centre is about the open. There are new reforms for kids’ football.

End of the road: The tournament is over for Wayne Rooney, Joe Hart and Co

End of the road: The tournament is over for Wayne Rooney, Joe Hart and Co

But Hodgson is operating in the shorter term, over the four years of his contract, and one challenge he faces is getting the best out of Wayne Rooney after yet another disappointing tournament for England’s most gifted footballer.

Clearly, missing the first two group games did him no favours and Rooney has to take the blame for his red card in Montenegro.

But he did look unfit as well as off form and you have to wonder if, privately, Hodgson might now think it was a mistake to let Rooney go to Las Vegas on holiday and report late for international duty along with Chelsea’s Champions League players. Just as it might have made sense to leave him in Krakow when England were travelling to Ukraine for the matches against France and Sweden. His time may have been better served working hard with a fitness coach back at base.

Off target: Ashley Cole missed a penalty in England's shootout defeat to Italy

Off target: Ashley Cole missed a penalty in England's shootout defeat to Italy

Hodgson dismissed such talk, but there remained implied criticism of his star player’s performances.

‘We’ve monitored his fitness levels and in training he has looked very fit,’ he said. ‘I think we put a lot of expectation on him and maybe asked too much of him. He tried very hard, but didn’t have his best game. I think he’d admit that.’

Like the rest of England’s players, something as basic as passing proved difficult for Rooney in Kiev.

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Euro 2012: England arrive home as Roy Hodgson calls for optimism

Hodgson calls for optimism as England arrive home from Euros (but we're out, Roy)

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UPDATED:

17:06 GMT, 25 June 2012

Roy Hodgson has called for optimism using Germany's example as proof England fans should not feel too negative about the future of the national side despite their Euro 2012 exit.

The Three Lions touched down in Luton on Monday evening after yet again crashing out at the quarter-final stage of a major competition on penalties.

Home coming: Wayne Rooney touches down at Luton airport after England's quarter-final Euro 2012 exit

Home coming: Wayne Rooney touches down at Luton airport after England's quarter-final Euro 2012 exit

Look on the bright side: England manager Roy Hodgson has called for optimism despite England's exit

Look on the bright side: England manager Roy Hodgson has called for optimism despite England's exit

On their way home: Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing head down the stairs at Luton airport

On their way home: Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing head down the stairs at Luton airport

Disappointed: Martin Kelly and goalkeeper Joe Hart

Disappointed: Martin Kelly and goalkeeper Joe Hart

The fact they were comprehensively outplayed by an Italy side who themselves would appear to have their work cut out when they take on co-favourites Germany in their Euro 2012 semi-final in Warsaw on Thursday underlines how much work Hodgson has in front of him.

However, Hodgson does not feel the situation is quite that bleak. After all, he recalls the difficulties Germany were in prior to the 2006 World Cup, and how much progress they have made since then, as evidence to prove the speed with which fortunes can change.

Crashing out: But Hodgson believes England have reasons to be optimistic

Crashing out: But Hodgson believes England have reasons to be optimistic

Euro 2012

Euro 2012 email button

'Germany went into that tournament unfancied, with a new coach, a lot of new players we didn't know much about and older ones who had failed in previous tournaments,' he said.

'We have seen how well they have kicked on since 2006 and have to take heart from that.'

Hodgson's optimism is fuelled by the emergence of a promising crop of young players. Danny Welbeck, Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all gained valuable experience in Poland and Ukraine, Phil Jones and Martin Kelly will also benefit from being around the squad.

Hodgson hinted Kyle Walker and Chris Smalling would have been involved had they not suffered late season injuries, while Jack Wilshere would surely have made the squad too had he not failed to make an appearance all season.

Facing the media: Hodgson and a visibly upset Gerrard speak to the press on Monday afternoon

Facing the media: Hodgson and a visibly upset Gerrard speak to the press on Monday afternoon

In the spotlight: Hodgson and Co have flown back from the Euros after crashing out at the last-eight stage

In the spotlight: Hodgson and Co have flown back from the Euros after crashing out at the last-eight stage

'There is good reason for optimism,' he said. 'We have some players coming through who are doing quite well at Under-21 level and I will be interested to see how they do in the Olympics.

'If it had not been for injuries to people like Smalling and Walker there would have been even more young players with us here.

'We have to believe. We have to see the positives where we can and try and ignore the fact that yes, it is another failure on paper because we have not got past the quarter-final stage.

Ear we go home: Young departed England's Krakow base on Monday afternoon

Ear we go home: Young departed England's Krakow base on Monday afternoon

'I don't believe there is as much negativity as perhaps there was.

'But the only way we can build upon what we have done here is by qualifying for Brazil and, when that tournament comes around, trying to better our previous record.'

The words are easy to say. Making them effective is far harder. After all, the so-called Golden Generation has now come to an end without threatening to end that long wait for a major trophy.

And compared specifically to the current Germany team and a Spain side aiming to become the first country to win three major trophies in a row, England actually look further away than ever.

End of the road: The tournament is over for Wayne Rooney, Joe Hart and Co

End of the road: The tournament is over for Wayne Rooney, Joe Hart and Co

Once more, the frenetic pace on show every week in the Premier League is being cited as a reason for failure. It would be silly to expect any change on that front given the 20 top-flight clubs have just pocketed a staggering 3billion domestic TV deal purely because of the excitement on offer.

'Leagues are not nations,' said Hodgson. 'Our league contains many teams that don't have one English player. “Having said that, I still think we have more than enough good Englishmen playing in the league to put together a good England national team.'

As the present situation has existed for so long, it is hard to imagine any change for a generation, once the new FA coaching hub at St George's Park has begun to have an impact. After all, if it is going to take a while for the coaches to be coached, the players will be waiting even longer to benefit. It raises the very real possibility that improvement will not come until after Hodgson's four-year contract has come to an end.

Off target: Ashley Cole missed a penalty in England's shootout defeat to Italy

Off target: Ashley Cole missed a penalty in England's shootout defeat to Italy

'I would be very happy if that was the case,' he said.

'I would like to benefit from it myself of course. It would be even better if that was the case. “But the fact is when you have been given a job like I have it is a great responsibility, not only for a particular team but for the whole of English football.

'The success of anybody can quite often be measured in what he leaves behind and what happens after they have left.

'I shall be working very hard, not only to win the matches for the team I am working with but also trying to help the FA in any way they think is required to make certain English football continues to progress.

'If we accept, at the moment, people like Germany and Spain are better than us, let's work hard to try and narrow that gap.'

Southampton prepare bid for Jack Butland but Manchester City and Spurs lurk

Saints prepare 3.5m bid for England's kid keeper Butland but City and Spurs lurk

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UPDATED:

21:45 GMT, 6 June 2012

Southampton are to offer 3.5m for England goalkeeper Jack Butland, 19.

He is yet to make a senior appearance for Birmingham and spent part of last season on loan at Cheltenham.

Saints want him to compete with Kelvin Davis, 35, but Spurs and Manchester City are also interested.

Euro 2012 bound: Jack Butland boards the plane at Luton Airport on Wednesday

Euro 2012 bound: Jack Butland boards the plane at Luton Airport on Wednesday

Euro 2012: Wayne Rooney calls for England to improve on past failings

Stand and deliver! Rooney calls on England to make amends for past failings as they fly out to Euro 2012

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UPDATED:

14:26 GMT, 6 June 2012

Wayne Rooney has called upon his England team-mates to put past failures behind them and finally deliver a performance to be proud of at a major tournament.

Rooney and his 22 team-mates stopped off
at the Vauxhall garage near Luton airport before they jetted off to
their training base in Krakow, Poland.

Photo finish: England pose for a team line-up at the Grove Hotel

Photo finish: England pose for a team line-up at the Grove Hotel

The striker is part of Roy Hodgson’s
squad for Euro 2012 but was a key member of England teams that under
performed at the last two World Cups and failed to qualify for Euro
2008.

But the Manchester United star has
admitted that the squad knows it has failed to meet fans’ expectations
in recent years and has vowed that the players are firmly concentrating
on improving their performance this summer.

Rooney said: ‘We know as players that we are expected to do better than what we have done in recent years. We understand that playing for England you are there to be shot at. So we need to make sure that we give our all.

Fit to fly: England manager Roy Hodgson will take a fully fit squad to Poland on Wednesday

Fit to fly: England manager Roy Hodgson will take a fully fit squad to Poland on Wednesday

Ready to go: John Terry will fly out with the other 22 members of the England squad on Wednesday

Put it there: Wayne Rooney signs the advertising board

Signing up for success: John Terry and Wayne Rooney sign a sponsors board before jetting off to Poland and to their Euro 2012 base

‘I think it’s important that it comes
across that we are trying and we are not just turning up and not trying.
We do try and win and sometimes if it’s not good enough then you’ve got
to hold your hands up. But we are trying to win and that passion is
there with the players, the same as with the fans.

The 26-year-old is suspended for England’s first two group games but is almost certain to return to face Ukraine where he will hope to fire the Three Lions into the quarter-finals.

Wayne Rooney boards the plane

Steven Gerrard boards the plane

Lift-off: Clockwise from top left, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Roy Hodgson and Andy Carroll and Phil Jagielka board the plane at Luton for Krakow

Andy Carrolll and Phil Jagielka board the plane

Roy Hodgson boards the plane

Rooney hasn’t scored at a major tournament for England since making his breakthrough under Sven Goran Eriksson at Euro 2004 but is confident Hodgson’s side can progress from a tough group to go all the way in Poland/Ukraine.

‘I don’t see why not,’ Rooney told the BBC, ‘I think certainly the players and the quality and the new manager coming in it lifts the players and lifts everyone around the squad. So hopefully that will give us a better chance.

‘I think it will be a tough group. Obviously France have a lot of experience and will be a difficult team to beat. And Sweden, we always seem to draw with them. And obviously Ukraine in Ukraine, which will always be difficult to play against them in their own country so it’s going to be difficult to get out of.

Should England fail to deliver once again on the continent though, Rooney favoured Germany to lift the Henri Delaunay trophy this summer over pre-tournament favourites Spain.

Rooney added: ‘You have got to look at Spain with the players they have got. But I always look at Germany – they always seem to be there near the end.’

Euro 2012: England players all fit ahead flying to Poland

England fly out to Euro 2012 with clean bill of health… at last!

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UPDATED:

11:53 GMT, 6 June 2012

The Football Association have confirmed their entire 23-man squad, including John Terry, will be on the plane that leaves Luton Airport for their Euro 2012 mission on Wednesday afternoon.

Terry was among those who needed to be checked after suffering a 'tight hamstring' in Saturday’s friendly win over Belgium.

However, the FA said all players trained in their final session at Arsenal’s London Colney complex this morning and will make the two-hour flight to England’s tournament base in Krakow.

Ready to go: John Terry will fly out with the other 22 members of the England squad on Wednesday

Ready to go: John Terry will fly out with the other 22 members of the England squad on Wednesday

After losing four players to injury already, and becoming embroiled in a row over Rio Ferdinand’s omission, manager Roy Hodgson will be relieved not to suffer any more unwanted setbacks.

England were putting on a unified front before their departure from The Grove hotel in Hertfordshire, with players and officials posing for final photographs, resplendent in their new Marks & Spencer-designed suits.

Fit to fly: England manager Roy Hodgson will take a fully fit squad to Poland on Wednesday

Fit to fly: England manager Roy Hodgson will take a fully fit squad to Poland on Wednesday

On their way to Luton, England were also due to call in at the car plant of main sponsors Vauxhall, where they were expected to meet 200 members of staff before making the short journey to the airport.

Having taken a conscious decision to base themselves in a city centre location in Krakow, it was yet to be established whether there would be an FA presence in the city on Wednesday evening.

Ready and waiting: The new pitch at the Hutnik stadium is ready for England to train on in Krakow

Ready and waiting: The new pitch at the Hutnik stadium is ready for England to train on in Krakow

However, a ceremony was going to be conducted at Krakow airport, organised by UEFA, which would confirm England’s arrival, following that of Holland and Italy, who have also chosen to base themselves in the same area.