England manager Roy Hodgson has expressed his disappointment at losing on penalties to Italy in their Euro 2012 quarter-final, but revealed that his players had done all the preparation they could in anticipation of a shoot-out.
The Three Lions battled through regular and extra-time to deny the Azzurri in a goalless draw, but succumbed 4-2 on penalties with former West Ham midfielder Alessandro Diamanti scoring the winning spot-kick and sending Hodgson's men home after Ashley Young and Ashley Cole failed to convert.
The former West Brom boss has stated that despite defeat once again in a shoot-out in a major tournament, nothing can replicate the situation of penalties as he hailed Andrea Pirlo, who netted for the Italians with a 'Panenka'.
"I think nothing you can do will ever prepare you for the moment," Hodgson told reporters. "The fact is what can possibly prepare you for those types of things?
"We practiced, we talked about it. We knew where their penalty takers were going to put their shots. We did all the things one could possibly do from a professional point of view but it still doesn’t change the fact that Andrea Pirlo has the incredible confidence at that level of football to do a Panenka chip over the goalkeeper, whereas our players were desperately trying to do the penalties they practiced.
"Unfortunately it didn’t come off. Maybe we’ve got to get a bit better at both games, maybe we’ve got to get better at the 90-minute game in tournaments so we can beat teams during the 90 minutes. If we can’t beat teams during the 90 minutes maybe we’ve got to get better at the next game [penalty shoot-outs]."
Despite the defeat on spot-kicks, Hodgson remains unbeaten as England manager in regulation time after six games in charge.