Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Biting Back: Roy Hodgson should stop focusing on injuries list

Telegraph Sport: where the debate really gets started

A long time ago, I wrote a glowing piece about how Linfield had come away from a tough European Cup tie in Finland with a creditable draw.

For added lustre, I pointed out that the result was all the more remarkable because the Blues had been missing four key players.

Their manager at the time, Roy Coyle, was, however, rather unimpressed with the prose.

“Why did you mention the missing players? What had they to do with this match?” he asked, adding: “Linfield FC is the players on the pitch, not those sitting at home or in the stands.”

Ouch! He was right, though. Some of the players who toiled for that excellent result didn’t rate a mention, while four others who hadn’t even made it onto the plane did.

Perhaps another Roy, England manager Hodgson, should adopt the same attitude next time he bleats on about how weakened the lads are without the likes of Rooney, Young and Terry.

You have to be focused on what you have, not what you wished you had. I mean, why demoralise the players who were there by pining for those who weren’t?

Already Mr Cautious sounds like he’s making excuses for a potential failure. Save it for your post-sacking press conference, Roy.

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