Hodgson shuts out distractions
Roy Hodgson will not allow any comparison with Fabio Capello to affect England's build-up to Sunday's Euro 2012 quarter-final with Italy.
Capello has flown to Colombia, so he is out of the firing line.
However, the link to his predecessor is so recent Hodgson accepts there is not much he can do to stop it being made.
What the England coach is keen to ensure is that any negativity does not seep into what has so far been a unified camp.
"Obviously there will be lots of things written that are not 100% truthful or that I wouldn't want to read or hear, but that's life," said Hodgson.
"That won't stop me from preparing the team and it will only become a hindrance if we allow it."
The calm manner with which Hodgson has gone about moulding England into a credible force has earned widespread admiration.
Indications that he will ask the five players in his squad who are within one yellow card of suspension to ignore the danger is in keeping with his philosophy of the game.
After all, he is hardly likely to select them if he felt they were going to ease off.
Of more interest is a suggestion that Ashley Young will be amongst his likely penalty-takers should a semi-final place be determined by a shoot-out, indicating the Manchester United man is indeed over the shin problem that threatened his participation.
Interest in Sunday's fixture is heightened by the fact both teams are based in Krakow.
The Capello factor adds another dimension, as does Hodgson's CV given he had two successful spells with Inter Milan, the biggest club side he has managed along with Liverpool.
Less fun was his short stint at Udinese, which came to an end after six months as Hodgson was fired before he walked out.
Yet, looking back, even that sour experience is not recalled with acute bitterness.
"It was different," he said. "I went there after winning the Danish championship with FC Copenhagen.
"It was a very different way of working at Udine to the way I had been used to at Inter.
"It wasn't terribly unsuccessful. We were ninth in the league and had knocked Inter out of the Italian Cup.
"But it was pretty obvious we weren't terribly compatible, so it was better that we parted company."
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