Hodgson admits lack of silverware since 1966 weighs heavily on England

The 64-year-old manager is determined to put an end to the Three Lions' disappointing record in major international tournaments by securing Euro 2012 glory
England manager Roy Hodgson has admitted that past failures in major tournaments has put added pressure on his squad.

The 64-year-old will hope to see his side get off to a good start at Euro 2012 as they face Laurent Blanc's France in their Group D opener on Monday.

However, the Three Lions have not triumphed in an international competition since lifting the 1966 World Cup on home soil and Hodgson revealed that his crop of players feel that burden.

"Of course we feel the weight of history," Hodgson told reporters.

"As a top nation we haven't won as many tournaments as we should or done as well as we should.

"We all feel that weight and there's nothing we can do to take it off our shoulders except make certain we embrace the tournament, that we are not afraid of it and that we believe in ourselves."

On the eve of England's first game, a French journalist asked Hodgson whether the Three Lions could be considered a major football nation given their disappointing record since 1966.

But the former West Brom boss insisted that his side must respond to such remarks by showing that they are capable of competing against the top sides in Europe.

"It was a facetious question but there was a little element of truth in what he was saying," he said.

"As a top nation we haven't won as many tournaments as we should or done as well as we should.

"It's a fact of life. But I think before the very good French period we could have levelled a similar accusation against them."

England midfielder Steven Gerrard also claimed that such remarks should motivate the players to try and end England’s silverware drought.

"Questions like that are more of a motivation," said Gerrard. "I don't see them as something to react to or an accusation.

"I have belief in my team-mates. I see it in training, I see it week in, week out in the Premier League.

"It comes more from not performing in tournaments. But three times we have been a penalty kick away from getting to the last four.

"If we had done, people's perceptions would have been a lot different.

"In one tournament very soon it will click, we will get that bit of luck and prove an awful lot of people wrong, like that fellow who was sitting at the back."