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The Three Lions manager dismissed the notions that his team mirror the defensive tactics of Azzurri teams of the past, and insisted that their mentality will not change

 Ash Sharma
 In Gdansk
England coach Roy Hodgson has dismissed the notion that his side are mirroring the Italian team by employing defensive tactics ahead of their Euro 2012 quarter-final on Sunday.

The Three Lions topped Group D, ahead of France, but drew criticism for their overcommitment to defence, leading many to suggest that they are emulating a traditional Azzurri approach to the game.

Hodgson brushed aside such claims, and insisted that his team's mentality for the knockout stage will not differ from the one employed in the group.

"I don't know what people mean by saying we have been playing like the Italians. I'm not sure what these qualities [we have in common] are," Hodgson told reporters.

"I do not think [playing in the knockout stage] is going to change our mentality particularly, we must just make certain we are prepared for the match.

"We must make sure we are ready for the match, and when we go on the field we are capable of doing what we are set out to do."
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When asked about England's trophy drought on the international stage which stretches back to 1966, Hodgson made clear that only actions on the pitch can overturn the negative run.

He added: "It's a nasty statistic because it's a very negative one as far as we're concerned. So all statistics which can be turned against you and made to look negative with regards to the nation's football, have got to be statistics that we're anxious to try and do something about.

"But you do not change statistics by talking; you change them by winning the game on the pitch so they do not bring those statistics out again."