England's teenage attacker Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has praised the management of boss Roy Hodgson as the team prepare for their crunch Euro 2012 quarter-final with Italy.
The manager took the England reigns just before the tournament, and expectations were low for the campaign in Poland and Ukraine after a dismal showing at the 2010 World Cup along with the turmoil of several rows in the Three Lions' squad.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was a surprise inclusion in Hodgson’s 23-man group, and despite starting in the opening-day draw with France, the Arsenal man has found himself on the bench for the rest of England's matches.
"In my time working with him I have been really impressed," the 18-year-old said to reporters. "I have really enjoyed working with him, and that goes for the rest of the players as well. He keeps a relaxed feel about it and he doesn't put too much pressure on us players. He lets you go out and express yourself as well,"
"I think the fact that there is such a relaxed vibe around the camp when it's time to relax does help, but when it comes to football you do focus. That's when he puts his strong opinions across to you. I do think the boys have really taken to him. He's not just a great coach, but also a good man. He's very approachable.
Oxlade-Chamberlain only made his full England debut in the Three Lions’ first warmup game away in Norway, but says the friendly nature of the squad has helped him hit the ground running.
"I feel settled in now. I get on well with the lads, they're a great bunch," the former Southampton man added. "I'm really enjoying my time here and have made some great friends already.
"If I'm to be honest, it's still a bit surreal to me but the football is coming thick and fast at the moment so you don't have too much time to think about it. You just train and then get ready for the next game. When you get the chance to play you just have to make sure you are ready. We've had three tough challenges and have come through them. We're a hard team to beat and we have the quality to do damage to defenses as well."
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