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Sam Allardyce can restore England's national pride - Johann Berg Gudmundsson

Published 10/08/2016

England lost their identity under Roy Hodgson but Sam Allardyce can restore national pride, according to Burnley's Iceland hero Johann Berg Gudmundsson.

Midfielder Gudmundsson left Charlton for Premier League new boys Burnley in a £2.5million deal during a summer when he also helped Iceland knock England out of Euro2016.

Iceland's 2-1 victory dumped England out of the Euros and cost boss Hodgson his job, with Gudmundsson now admitting it was a shock result that should never have happened.

Allardyce has since replaced Hodgson, with Gudmundsson backing England to improve under the former Sunderland and Bolton manager.

Asked if England had lost their identity, Gudmundsson said: "You could say so.

"It is tough. They (England) are under unbelievable pressure, from media, from fans, from everybody.

"They've got talented players but it's about bringing it out on the pitch.

"As underdogs there was no pressure on us in that game but, to be fair, they shouldn't be losing against us.

"We had a great game plan, we worked for each other, we were willing to run the whole 90 minutes.

"You can't really say what it is going on with England.

"They've got these talented players but they can't produce what they should be doing. We were just better on the day.

"A few managers have tried to change the mentality in the team and it definitely hasn't worked because I think you should be achieving a little bit more with the players you have and hopefully with the new manager you have you will achieve a little bit more than you have done."

Gudmundsson believes Sean Dyche's Burnley must set their first target as Premier League safety, on returning to the top flight.

The 25-year-old apologised for his part in Hodgson's demise as England boss, before drawing parallels between Iceland's hard-grafting style and Burnley's potential route to Premier League stability.

"I'm sorry about that! That's football. It's a cruel game sometimes," said Gudmundsson on Hodgson losing his job.

"Obviously for England it's not the nicest to lose against Iceland, that's for sure, and it must have been tough to take.

"It happened (beating England) so you've got to believe it. It was obviously a magical moment, especially for the Icelandic nation.

"The Premier League is the biggest league in Iceland. Everybody watches it so to beat England was something we all dreamed of doing and after the game it was quite surreal that we did it.

"After we got 2-1 up it was probably the easiest game of the tournament to be fair. A lot of other teams caused us more problems than they did.

"We just kept back, played solid defence and hit them on the counter-attack and they didn't really have a solution to break our defence down.

"It's quite similar with Iceland and Burnley. We play 4-4-2 both teams. We work hard, we are willing to run all day long.

"We are probably underdogs in the Premier League but that doesn't matter. Leicester were underdogs last year and they won the league.

"In football you can do great things with a good team spirit and players who are willing to do everything their gaffer says."

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