England manager Roy Hodgson has admitted that he’s considering drafting in a psychologist to help his side overcome their fear of penalties.
The Three Lions have long been considered as spot kick bottlers, with their EURO 2012 elimination at the hands of Italy the sixth time in seven attempts that they have suffered such a fate.
Although the likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and Leighton Baines – all of whom have taken and scored multiple penalties at club level – are likely to be in the squad, there is still a lingering fear that the men in the white shirts may be hindered by their poor record once again in Brazil later this year.
Hodgson has already signed up cycling chief Sir Peter Brailsford to help with preparations ahead of the tournament, and says that he may well study the benefits of getting in another specialist to help his team overcome their fears.
“We have some confident penalty-takers, but others less confident and it’s how we get to them,” Hodgson told BBC Sport.
“We need to know that when they go up they are as well prepared as they can be.
“We are considering the possibility of inviting someone with us but it would have to be someone accepted by the group.
“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.”